China’s population reaches 1.4 billion, birth rate falls to lowest since 1949

End of one-child policy failed to redress situation

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Chinese leaving on holiday at Beijing Railway Station Friday (Jan. 17). 

Chinese leaving on holiday at Beijing Railway Station Friday (Jan. 17).  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – China’s population reached 1.4 billion in 2019, despite its birth rate falling to its lowest point since the Communists took power in 1949, reports said Friday (Jan. 17).

At 10.48 per thousand, the country’s birth rate was lower than the 12 per thousand achieved by the United States in 2017, according to the BBC.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics put the number of births in 2019 at 14.65 million, a drop of more than half a million from the previous year.

The ending of the one-child policy in 2015 brought about a rise in the number of births but only for two years, mainly because couples cannot afford more children, the BBC reported.

The country is still dealing with a gender imbalance resulting from the one-child policy and could soon also face a demographic time bomb, with a shrinking group of younger people due to support a growing elderly population.

The overall global birth rate stood at 18.65 per thousand in 2017, according to World Bank data mentioned by the BBC. Japan had an even lower rate than China, with 8 per thousand.