China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) predicts that the nation’s population will peak at 1.45 billion by 2030 and drop to 1.1 billion towards the end of this century.
Reasons for the increase/decline
The increase in population over the next decade is the result of a large proportion of the population that is in its child-bearing years. But with decades of a one-child-per-woman policy, the number of women able to bear child will soon diminish.
This decline in younger adults in China will also impact its workforce. Wang Peian, deputy head of the NHFPC, has said that China's working age population between 15 and 64 years is still a little over one billion and accounts for 73 per cent of the total population. The working age population will gradually drop to 985 million in 2020 and to around 800 million by 2050, he said.
Wang struck a note of optimism, however. "Although the total working age population in developed countries in the US and Europe is around 730 million, which is less than our one billion, they have a much higher productivity rate," Wang said, noting that the drop in workers will be compensated by advances in technology.
One child policy
Last year, China relaxed its decades-old rigid 'one child policy' amid concerns over rapidly ageing population which has already touched about 220 million and was expected to climb sharply in the coming year.
However, official surveys point out reluctance on the part of many women to have a second child. They fear a second child will negatively affect their career prospects. They also are discouraged by the costs of bringing up one more child.
To address concerns of the people, the government was considering introducing supporting measures including "birth rewards and subsidies" to encourage people to have another child.
Source: Times of India