According to the state-backed Global Times, which cited a senior health official, China's population growth has slowed dramatically and is anticipated to begin to drop before 2025.
The number of new births in 2021 was the lowest in numerous provinces in decades, according to birth statistics that were revealed late on Sunday (July 24).
For the first time in nearly 60 years, the number of births in central Hunan province dipped below 500,000, according to the Global Times. According to the report, only Guangdong province in southern China has had more than 1 million births.
As a result of circumstances such as the high cost and work demands, many young people in China are struggling to stop a significant decline in natural population growth.
The National Health Commission's chief of population and family affairs, Yang Wenzhuang, told the Global Times that China's population will begin to decline around 2021-2025.
China's laws were changed last year to allow women to have three children, but many women complain that the change came too late and that they lack adequate job security and gender equality.
To stop a population boom that had made China the world's most populous country, the government of China implemented a policy in 1980 that prohibited most families from having more than one child.
After a 2010 census revealed that the share of young Chinese was declining as the old population was rising, the strategy was abandoned in 2016.
Demographers consequently said that China's restriction on family size harmed the future of the country's fastest-growing major economy since there would be fewer individuals remaining to support and care for an aging population.
In an effort to boost an aging population and reverse declining birth rates, the Chinese government increased the birth cap to two in 2015. It was declared that Chinese families could have up to three children in May 2021.
With 1.4 billion inhabitants as of 2021, China continued to be the most populated nation, but India was quickly catching up with 1.36 billion. India's population is expected to overtake China's in 2023, according to a recent UN estimate.
The United States was a far third with 329 million people, Indonesia was fourth at 266 million, and Pakistan 5th with 220.8 million. Brazil came in sixth with 211.5 million people, followed by Nigeria with 206 million, Bangladesh with 168.5 million, Russia with 146.7 million, and Mexico with 126.5 million.