China has experienced the lowest population growth in the last decade since the introduction of the single-child policy in the 1970s, and the population is counted every ten years in the country. Since 2010, the population has increased by 72 million to 1.41 billion.
This represents an increase of almost half a percentage point compared to the census between 2000 and 2010.
Fewer and fewer babies were born in the country, the number of working people decreased and the ageing population increased.
The Financial Times comments on the last count. The newspaper reported in April that for the first time in 50 years there was a decline in the number of inhabitants. The newspaper came to that conclusion based on figures from people who were closely involved in the census. “Now it is not entirely certain whether the last digits are correct”, says correspondent Garrie van Pinxteren in the CCEit Radio 1 Journal.
Also because municipalities depend on the financing of, for example, schools based on the number of inhabitants. “That stimulates a little to inaccuracy, to bending the figures in the direction you like.” Van Pinxteren claims to be counted as well. “They stood at the door and asked how many people I lived with and how long have I lived here. They seemed to take my word.”
“ In addition, China itself will not want to come out with figures that the population is decreasing because it might give the impression that the country is less strong and large than it presents itself.”
A decline in the population can lead to problems in the country. “It is precisely because of this one-child policy that the population has fallen hard,” says Van Pinxteren. “People who are only children with nine, ten or eleven uncles and aunts. That gives us an idea of what a burden that group of elderly people is going to be. They must be taken care of.”
But the countrys economy must also be kept running. “The number of workers will fall from three-quarters of the population in 2011 to just over half in 2050, says Peking University University Professor of Population Studies Lu Jiehua to press agency AP.
Since 2015, the single-child measure has been relaxed. Couples are now allowed to have two children. “But people find two children simply too expensive,” says the correspondent.