Demographers attribute China’s rapidly declining birthrate to the country’s strict COVID-19 restrictions, with some cities reporting double-digit declines.
Chinese government strict Zero-COVID Policy The communist regime’s efforts to maintain a Covid-free status have been controversial, with some claiming the goal is too ambitious and expensive.
Just last month, 1 million inhabitants Wuhan was placed under a three-day lockdown after four asymptomatic Covid-19 cases were detected.
between the April-May lockdownFrustrated Shanghai residents can be heard screaming from their windows, unable to leave their homes to walk their dogs or get supplies.
As noted Chinese demographer Yi Fuxian said Reuters“China’s zero-COVID policy has led to zero economy, zero marriage, zero fertility.”
They forecast 1 million fewer births due to Covid-19-related factors in 2021 and 2022, with the rate in 2023 being worse.
The city of Jiaozhou in Shandong province recorded a 26 percent decline in the first six months, while the city of Huqu in Jiangxi province saw a 42 percent decline.
In a statement published by the state-run Kiushi Magazine On August 1, the country’s National Health Commission said that China’s total fertility rate (TSR) had been below 1.3 in recent years, indicating a continued “decline” in “women’s desire to have children.”
Women of childbearing age are reported to have had an average of 1.64 children in 2021, 1.73 in 2019 and 1.76 in 2017, which once again emphasizes the declining fertility trend.
Some of the factors reported as “major barriers to fertility” include financial burdens and “unaddressed” concerns around the challenges of balancing child-rearing and career.
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TSR 2.1 children must be TSR 2.1 in order to “properly replace” a generation, which the United Nations considers “Replacement-level fertilityAccording to a 2007 report.
A TSR level of 5 children per woman is considered high and less than 1.3.
in an interview On Aug. 3 with The Epoch Times, US-based China affairs commentator Wang He explained how this could affect the global economy.
“China needs enough low-wage workers because it is the world’s factory,” Wang said. “The biggest problem is that there will be a shortage of cheap labor for production.”
With fewer workers, factories will have to implement higher wages, which is likely to increase production costs in China. Other consequences may include Social Security not having enough money for retiree benefits, school closings due to low enrollment, and businesses such as maternity hospitals, which focus on children, may go out of business.
Companies like Osnutria Dairy, which makes baby formula; Ayingshi, a diaper manufacturer; and Goodbaby, which makes cribs and strollers, all cited China’s declining birth rate as the reason for their corporate earnings loss in the first half of 2022.
Using the United Nations data toolIf China’s rate of decline in the first half of 2022 continues on the same path, its total population is likely to halve by 2100.
The hashtag “We are the last generation” briefly went viral on Chinese social media during the April-May shutdown earlier this year before being censored.
Featured image by South China Morning Post