Children playing in the village square after school in Xiasha Village in Shenzhen, China, in November.Credit...Qilai Shen for The New York Times
In May, 2021, a BRT blurb titled Long Term Time Bomb predicted the dire future of China vis a vis its declining population, something unable to be curtailed as many young Chinese people simply do not want children. The official start point of the decline now reads 1/17/23 but this is not the only depressing news as the population itself continues to age thanks to China's one child per family edict implemented to curb the country's population growth back in the day.
HONG KONG — The world’s most populous country has reached a pivotal moment: China’s population has begun to shrink, after a steady, yearslong decline in its birthrate that experts say is irreversible.
The government said on Tuesday that 9.56 million people were born in China last year, while 10.41 million people died. It was the first time deaths had outnumbered births in China since the Great Leap Forward, Mao Zedong’s failed economic experiment that led to widespread famine and death in the 1960s.
Chinese officials have tried for years to slow down the arrival of this moment, loosening a one-child policy and offering incentives to encourage families to have children. None of those policies worked. Now, facing a population decline, coupled with a long-running rise in life expectancy, the country is being thrust into a demographic crisis that will have consequences not just for China and its economy but for the world.
Researchers predict that the world's population will decline in the next 40 years due to declining birth rates — and it will cause a massive shortage of workers. Getty; Marianne Ayala/Insider
The economic and demographic forces that will lead to a global population drop by the end of the 21st century have been at work in major economies for a long time. Year after year, the birth rates of more rich and middle-income countries fall below the critical "replacement level" — the level at which people have enough children to maintain current population levels. A society needs 2.1 children per woman for the population to remain stable. In the US, the current rate is 1.6 children per woman — and it's even lower in most European countries as well as Japan (1.3), China (1.2), and South Korea (0.8). Soon, almost every country in the world will fall below this breakeven point.
The end of economic growth is coming as declining populations will not be able to produce as much stuff as the world moves further into the 21st century. Sustainability is key is it not?