Shrinking China, population decline for the first time since the 1960s Conversion much faster than expected, the day to be overtaken by India is imminent (1/4) | JBpress (JBpress)

Shrinking China, population decline for the first time since the 1960s Conversion much faster than expected, the day to be overtaken by India is imminent (1/4) | JBpress (JBpress)
Shrinking China, population decline for the first time since the 1960s Conversion much faster than expected, the day to be overtaken by India is imminent (1/4) | JBpress (JBpress)

A much faster turnaround than expected, the day will soon be overtaken by India

(British Economist January 21, 2023 issue)

Young Chinese women think about marriage and children much differently than older generations (pictured in Shanghai)

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Its long reign as the world’s most populous country is probably over.

“We are the last generation”

These ominous words were used by some commentators after news swept through Chinese social media that China’s population had shrunk for the first time in decades last year on January 17.

This word has a special connotation in China.

During weeks of lockdown in Shanghai last year to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, a young man angry said penalties for violating pandemic regulations would haunt his family for three generations. I spit out these words towards the police in protective clothing who warned me.

The words, captured on a mobile phone, quickly went viral online.

And now, as the meaning really makes sense, there are people who remember that line.

there is no next generation

China’s total population was 1.412 billion at the end of last year, down 850,000 from the beginning of the year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

It is the first time China has recorded a population decline since 1962, after millions died in a man-made famine caused by Mao Zedong’s “Great Leap Forward.”

This time, the main cause of the population decline is not the unnatural number of deaths.

China ended its nearly three-year “zero-corona” policy on December 7, leading to a surge in infections and many deaths.

Officials revealed on Jan. 14 that there have been nearly 60,000 coronavirus-related deaths since the policy was abolished.

The real numbers are much higher (official government figures only include deaths in hospitals, and deaths from Covid-19 are often not recorded as such).

But officials say December’s coronavirus-related deaths aren’t reflected in demographics.

The reason for the population decline is clear.

The desire to have children is rapidly fading. For many Chinese, even those who are married, there is no next generation.
The article is in Japanese

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