Demographers attribute China’s rapidly declining birth rate to the country’s strict COVID-19 restrictions, with some cities reporting double-digit declines.
The Chinese government is strict No COVID policy It was controversial, with some claiming that the communist regime’s efforts to maintain a COVID-free status as an overly ambitious and costly goal.
Just in the last month, 1 million inhabitants In Wuhan it was on lockdown for three days after four asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 were detected.
during the Closing April and MayFrustrated Shanghai residents can be heard screaming from their windows, unable to leave their homes to walk their dogs or get supplies.
A prominent Chinese demographer, Ye Fuxian, said: Reuters“China’s COVID-free policy has resulted in zero economy, zero marriages, and zero fertility.”
Factors associated with COVID-19 are expected to reduce the number of births by one million in 2021 and 2022 combined, with rates expected to be even worse in 2023.
Jiaozhou city in Shandong Province recorded a 26 percent drop in the first six months, while Hukou City in Jiangxi Province saw a sharp decline of 42 percent.
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In a statement published by the state Qiushi . magazine On August 1, the country’s National Health Commission said that “China’s total fertility rate (TSR) has been lower than 1.3 in recent years,” indicating a continuing “decrease” in women’s “willingness to have children.”
The statement reported that women of childbearing age had an average of 1.64 children in 2021, 1.73 in 2019 and 1.76 in 2017, again confirming the downward trend in births.
Some of the factors reported as “major barriers to fertility” included financial burdens and “unmonitored” concerns surrounding challenges to balancing childrearing and careers.
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For a generation to “completely replace itself”, TSR 2.1 must be a child, which the United Nations considers “Fertility at replacement levelAccording to a report from 2007.
A TSR of 5 children per female is considered high, and less than 1.3 is considered too low.
in Interview With The Epoch Times on August 3, US-based China commentator Wang He explained how this could affect the global economy.
“China needs enough low-wage workers because it is the factory of the world,” Wang said. “The biggest problem is that there will be a shortage of cheap labor for manufacturing.”
With fewer workers, factories will have to implement higher salaries, which in turn will increase manufacturing costs in China. Other effects could include Social Security not having enough money to cover retiree benefits, school closures due to low enrollment rates, and businesses such as maternity hospitals, which focus on children, may stop operating.
companies such as Ausnutria Dairy, which makes infant formula; Aiyingshi, a diaper producer; And Goodbaby, which makes cribs and strollers, all cited a declining birth rate in China as the reason for corporate profit losses in the first half of 2022.
using the United Nations data toolIf China’s rate of decline from the first half of 2022 continues on the same path, its total population will likely be halved by 2100.
The hashtag “We are the last generation” circulated briefly on Chinese social media during the lockdown earlier this year in April and May before being censored.
Featured Image via South China Morning Newspaper