(CTN NEWS) – China’s fertility rate has hit an unparalleled nadir of 1.09 in 2022, as conveyed by the National Business Daily on Tuesday.
This disquieting figure is poised to stir significant apprehension among authorities grappling with the challenge of rejuvenating the nation’s flagging birth rates.
According to the state-endorsed publication, China’s Population and Development Research Center has substantiated this data, positioning the country with the most minimal fertility rate among nations boasting a population surpassing 100 million.
This places China in the company of countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, all contending with the predicament of diminished fertility.
Why China’s Population Decline is Unfolding?
A decline in China’s population is being attributed to several significant factors as outlined by experts.
Notably, the high costs associated with childcare and the limited career prospects for women following childbirth have emerged as pivotal contributors to the sharp decline in the fertility rate.
This phenomenon has led to increasing apprehension among women about the prospect of becoming parents. Moreover, the prevailing presence of gender discrimination and entrenched traditional stereotypes further exacerbate the situation.
Furthermore, the availability of paternity leave remains constrained across the majority of provinces in the nation.
A report from Hong Kong’s Family Planning Association reveals a stark transformation: the proportion of childless women in this special Chinese administrative region has more than doubled over the past five years, reaching 43.2% last year.
Simultaneously, the percentage of couples with one or two children has experienced a decline, signaling a broader trend across the country.
China’s Response to Demographic Decline: Initiatives to Boost Birth Rates and Enhance Population Quality
In response to this unparalleled decline in population and the rapid aging of its demographic, Beijing has inaugurated a spectrum of measures to elevate birth rates.
These measures encompass financial incentives and ameliorated childcare facilities. Recognizing the gravity of the situation, President Xi Jinping convened a dedicated meeting in May to specifically address this concern.
China has articulated its dedication to enhancing population quality through investments in education, science, and technology. The aspiration is to sustain a “moderate fertility” level to underpin economic growth in the foreseeable future.
Numerous factors contribute to this downward trajectory, encompassing steep childcare expenses that discourage women from expanding their families and traditional gender roles that perpetuate the caregiving burden on women.
While discourse surrounding shared parental responsibilities has intensified, the availability of paternity leave remains limited across most provinces.
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