Saturday, February 24, 2024

China grapples with plunging birth rate

A once-in-a-decade population census has shown that births in China have fallen to their lowest level since the 1960s, the BBC reports. The census showed that around 12 million babies were born in China last year, a 33% decrease from 18 million in 2016. Experts say the situation could be uniquely exacerbated given the number of men who are finding it difficult to find a wife in the first place. Last year, there were 34.9 million more males than females in the country. This is a hangover from China’s strict one-child policy, which was introduced in 1979. In a culture that historically favours boys over girls, the policy led to a reported glut of newborn boys from the 1980s onward. In 2016, the government allowed couples to have two children. However, the reform has failed to reverse the country’s falling birth rate.

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