The number of births in China tumbled 10% last year to hit their lowest level on record, a drop that comes despite a slew of government efforts to support parents and amid increasing alarm that the country has become demographically imbalanced.
China had just 9.56 million births in 2022, according to a report published by the National Health Commission. It was the lowest figure since records began in 1949.
The high costs of child care and education, growing unemployment and job insecurity as well as gender discrimination have all helped to deter many young couples from having more than one child or even having children at all.
Last year, the country’s population also fell for the first time in six decades, dropping to 1.41 billion people.
That has caused domestic demographers to lament that China will get old before it gets rich, slowing the economy as revenues drop and government debt increases due to soaring health and welfare costs.
Source : NBC News