Nov. 23 (UPI) — China’s birthrate has decreased to its lowest level since 1978.
China’s national bureau of statistics reported that in 2020, there were 8.5 births per 1,000 people. It marks the first time in decades that the number has fallen below 10. The bureau’s statistical yearbook revealed that the natural rate of population growth, which includes births and deaths, had reached a new low of 1.45.
China has a population of 1.4 billion, according to the World Bank.
Starting in 1979 and through 2015, China implemented a policy that mandated families could only have one child, with limited exceptions, in an attempt to control a population explosion. In late 2015, it announced a “two-child” policy due to its growing aging population that would impact the economy.
In August, China’s legislative body passed a three-child policy to encourage child bearing as the country deals with a rapidly aging population. The bill also included support for parental leave, and establishing more nursing facilities in public areas and workplaces.
A 2020 report on China’s population shifts by the Asia for Educators at Columbia University said:
“As women are more highly educated and employed, families are living in more urban areas and the costs of raising children increases, families tend to choose to have less children, regardless of government policies.”