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As the World Population Reaches 8 Billion, China Worries About Over too Few Babies

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As the World Population Reaches 8 Billion, China Worries About Over too Few Babies

(CTN News) – Tang Huajun, a China software engineer, said he is unlikely to have more children but enjoys playing with his two-year-old at their apartment outside of Beijing.

The destiny of the world’s population, which the UN estimates will hit 8 billion on Tuesday, will be determined by such choices made by countless individuals like Tang.

The 39-year-old Tang said that many of his married pals only have one kid and are no longer planning. He said younger individuals aren’t interested in getting married, much less having children.

The high daycare expense is a significant barrier to having children in China, where many families cannot depend on grandparents who may live far away for assistance.

Another factor is that many of us marry later in life, which makes it difficult to have children, Tang said. “I believe that having children later in life will affect marriage.”

China implemented a stringent one-child policy from 1980 to 2015 to control population growth since the country had long been concerned about the possibility of it accelerating.

However, the UN anticipates that China’s population will begin to decline starting in 2019 when India is anticipated to surpass China as the world’s most populated nation.

With a fertility rate of 1.16 in 2021, China has one of the lowest fertility rates worldwide and fell below the OECD’s benchmark of 2.1 for a stable population.

Demographers speculate that the agony of the coronavirus epidemic and China’s stringent attempts to eradicate it may also have significantly influenced many people’s willingness to have children.

Demographers predict that this year’s new births in China will reach record lows, decreasing from 10.6 million last year to less than 10 million this year, which is already 11.5% less than in 2020.

Beijing started allowing couples to have up to three children last year, and the administration has said it aims to reach an “acceptable” birth rate.

OLD PEOPLE, NEW PROBLEMS

A declining population presents a whole new set of issues for planners. “We anticipate a sharp rise in the elderly population. Compared to 20 years ago, China is now in a very crucial position, according to Shen Jianfa, a Chinese University of Hong Kong professor.

With a falling labour force and a projected steep increase in the percentage of those over 65, the burden of caring for the ageing population will only grow.

According to Shen, the percentage of the old population will be quite high for several years. Thus, the nation has to be ready for the ageing process.

China has been attempting to encourage couples to have more children through tax incentives, financial handouts, generous maternity leave, medical insurance, and housing subsidies. China is concerned about the possibility of an ageing population.

Demographers argue that the restrictions are insufficient, pointing to factors such as prohibitive expenses of higher education, poor earnings, and infamously long workdays, as well as their dissatisfaction with COVID limits and the general status of the economy.

According to Stuart Gietel Basten, a professor at the University of Science and Technology of Hong Kong, young people’s employment prospects are a significant issue.

“Why would you have more children when the ones you already have can’t even get employment?

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