China’s population has fallen for the first time in 60 years, with the national birth rate hitting a record low – 6.77 births per 1,000 people. The population in 2022 – 1.4118 billion – fell by 850,000 from 2021. China’s birth rate has been declining for years, prompting a slew of policies to try to slow the trend. But seven years after scrapping the one-child policy, it has entered what one official described as an „era of negative population growth“.
After four extraordinary decades in which China’s population has swelled from 660 million to 1.4 billion, it is now declining for the first time since the great famine of 1959-1961. The Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences team predicts an annual average decline of 1.1% after 2021, pushing China’s population down to 587 million in 2100, less than half of what it is today. India will replace China as the world’s most populous country probably this year.