Declining Chinese population

The Financial Times reports that the latest Chinese census, which was completed in December but has yet to be made public, is expected to report the total population of the country at less than 1.4bn, according to people familiar with the research. In 2019, China’s population was reported to have exceeded the 1.4B mark.

Official data showed the number of newborns in China increased in 2016 but then fell for three consecutive years. Officials blamed the decline on a shrinking number of young women and the surging costs of child-rearing.

The real picture could be even worse. In a report published last week, China’s central bank estimated that the total fertility rate, or the average number of children a woman was likely to have in her lifetime, was less than 1.5, compared with the official estimate of 1.8.

That would put China’s fertility rate at that of Italy. The United States rate is 1.8. (Go here for fertility rates by country.) The replacement rate is 2.1. the U.S. continues to grow due to immigration. There is hardly any immigration into China.

China has one million foreign born residents for its total population of 1.4B. The United States has 45 million foreign born residents out of a population of 330 million. (Go here.)

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