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Birth rates in 10 Chinese provinces fell below 1% in 2020: Report

Birth rates in 10 Chinese provinces fell below 1% in 2020: Report

Birth rates in ten Chinese provinces, including Henan - the third most populated province in the country with nearly 100 million people - fell below one percent in the 2020 for the first time in decades, new official statistics showed, according to a news report on Tuesday. The data, released by individual provinces in China, corroborates what central official statistics revealed last November: China’s average birth rate fell below one percent in 2020, marking the lowest rate of childbirth since 1978, according to a report in the Global Times. China recorded a birth rate of 8.52 per 1,000 people in 2020, according to the China Statistical Yearbook 2020 compiled and released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in November, the report said. According to the fresh statistics provided by the local government, between 1.1 million to 1.2 million births were recorded each year from 2002 to 2010 in Henan, a central Chinese province. “However, its birth rate for the first time fell to 9.24 per 1,000 people in 2020, and the number of new babies was 920,000, also a new low since 1978,” the Global Times report said. The birth rates in some developed regions such as eastern China’s Jiangsu province was below even the national level, falling to 6.66 per 1,000 people. Beijing and Tianjin, a city located some 100km from the capital, saw rates of 6.98 and 5.99 per 1,000 people, respectively, the report said. Other regions, like Guizhou province in the southwest and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in the south, saw birth rates above the national average of 8.52 per thousand people, the report said. Demographers in China say fertility rates are falling because of various reasons, including, bur not limited to, an ageing population, changes in people’s choices, and even the upheaval caused by the Covid pandemic. “China faces challenges including an aging population and changes in people’s choices. Low birth rates will continue due to many factors,” Song Jian from the Centre for Population and Development Studies of Renmin University of China, told the Global Times. China in August last year further amended the Population and Family Planning Law, allowing couples to have three children in an attempt to boost falling birth rates. This measure came after Beijing in 2016 scrapped its decades-old one-child policy to replace it with a two-child limit, which failed to deliver the expected upsurge in births. The decision to allow three children was taken after China’s once-in-a-decade census published in May 2021 showed that the country’s population grew at the slowest pace to 1.41 billion until the end of 2020. The new census figures revealed that the demographic crisis China faced was expected to deepen as the population of people above 60 years grew to 264 million..

world-news 2022-01-06 hindustantimes