China’s population declines for second straight year

China’s population declined for a second consecutive year in 2023 (Xinhua/Ju Huanzong/IANS)

Beijing, Jan 17 (IANS) China’s population declined for a second consecutive year in 2023, while the birthrate has also plunged to a new record low, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced on Wednesday.

According to the NBS, China’s population fell in 2023 to 1.409 billion, down some 2.08 million people from the previous year, CNN reported.

The Bureau also confirmed that the country’s birth rate had dropped to a new record low of 6.39 births per 1,000 people, down from 6.77 a year earlier and the lowest level since the founding of Communist China in 1949.

Some 9.02 million babies were born, compared with 9.56 million babies in 2022, it said.

China’s population had declined for the first time in decades in 2022.

According to analysts, this was the first drop since the 1961 Great Chinese Famine, when millions of people died.

In 2023, China was surpassed by India as the world’s most populous country.

Meanwhile, the economy grew by 5.2 per cent last year, compared to a government target of around 5 per cent, the NBS’s figures revealed.

The country’s work force, composed of people in the 16 to 59 age group, dropped by 10.75 million from 2022, while the number of elderly people above 60 increased by 16.93 million from 2022.

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