Troubled by the dwindling number of youth in the country, China has once again decided to bring a major change in its population policy. At one time in China, couples producing more than one child were punished. Now, under the new policy, financial assistance and other facilities will be provided to couples producing more children. This policy will be implemented in the Five Year Plan of 2021-25. China’s official newspaper China Daily has now published detailed information about this.
The newspaper quoted the experts as saying that the aim of the new policy is to bring balance to the population. Government officials claim that the new policy is in line with the country’s long-term development plan. Under this, a network of nursery services will be laid across the country, so that the family expenses of raising children can be reduced.
The number of elderly people in the country has increased rapidly in recent years, while the labor force (i.e. the share of the population that can labor) is decreasing. Five years ago China abolished the One Child (one child) policy. The couple were then allowed to have a second child.
Now Yuwan Shin, vice president of China’s Population Association, has said that the new policy will not be limited to allowing two children. That means, more children can now be allowed to be born. China enacted the One Child Policy in 1978. It was then believed that it was necessary to do this to remove poverty and develop the economy. This policy led to a rapid decline in China’s population by the 21st century. It is still the most populous country in the world, but according to estimates by population experts, by 2028 India will overtake it.
According to China’s population experts, China does not want to allow its population to decrease by more than a limit. According to him, more research is needed on how many children should be allowed to a couple. For example, allow three children or cancel the population policy altogether. To cancel the policy would mean leaving it entirely to the people how many children they want to have. According to experts, inequalities of different regions of the country have to be kept in mind while implementing the new population policy. According to him, instead of implementing the same policy for all parts, it would be better to implement a different policy according to the need of each region.
It is clear from the direction of the new policy that the dwindling population has become a cause of great concern for the policy makers of the country. It is believed that this will have a profound socio-economic impact on the country. Last year, the birth rate in China was 10.48 per 1000 people. This is the lowest level in seven decades.
According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, 5 five 80 thousand fewer children were born in 2019 than in 2018. This was the third consecutive year when the number of children born declined. Significantly, this decline has come despite the exemption in the One Child Policy.
According to population experts, for a balanced population it is necessary that the replacement rate (number of children born per woman) is 2.1. But in China this rate has increased to 1.7. In 2017, China’s National Development and Reform Commission stated that China’s population will reach its highest level in 2030. But many researchers believe that this will happen before that.
The number of women in the age group of 20 to 34 has decreased rapidly in China, while the same age women mostly become mothers. In the next five years, this number is estimated to be only 62 lakhs. Whereas the number of people above the age of 60 was 25 million last year. It was 18.1 percent of the population. By 2050, one third of China’s population will be in this age group. That is, China will be the oldest country. This is a concern for any society. That is why China is going to try to find a solution to this problem immediately in its 14th Five Year Plan.
After that the population will start to decline. Population researcher Li Yue told China Daily that China’s population will be one billion 42 million in 2027. After that it will start to decline. In 2050, China’s population will be one billion 32 million. Right now it is one billion 40 crores.