China is set to report its first population decline since the famine that accompanied the Great Leap Forward, Mao Zedong’s disastrous economic policy in the late 1950s that caused the deaths of tens of millions of people.
The current fall in population comes despite the relaxation of strict family planning policies, which was meant to reverse the falling birth rate of the world’s most populous country.
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 1.4bn mark.
The people cautioned, however, that the figure was considered very sensitive and would not be released until multiple government departments had reached a consensus on the data and its implications.
Read it all (subscription).
Falling population is a real challenge for #China. Growth becomes harder to sustain, and it also forces the mix of growth towards materials, clashing with China's #climate commitments. China…first population decline in 5 decades https://t.co/WT88eyqXQe via @financialtimes
— Richard Yetsenga 叶森 (@ricyet) April 27, 2021