China's population will witness negative growth by 2025 and may continue shrinking for more than 100 years, a report released on Monday, 25 July, stated.
As per the state-run Global Times, Chinese demographers said that negative population growth will become the new trend in the next few years, and emphasised that improving the overall quality of the population and making changes to economic development plans were essential to address the issue.
"It can be predicted that China's birth rate will continue to shrink for more than a century and the birth rate in first-tier cities will continue to fall. The third-child policy may alleviate some of the problems, but it is unlikely to reverse the trend in the short term," demography expert Huang Wenzheng said.
India to Surpass China As Most Populous Country in 2023
His comments come amid birth data for 2021 from 29 provinces in the country showing that the number of births was the lowest in decades last year.
Also, only six among the top 10 provinces with the highest births exceeded 500,000.
The report states that India's current population stands at 1.412 billion, while China's population is at 1.426 billion.
By 2050, India is projected to have a population of 1.668, far ahead of China's projected number of 1.317 billion.
China had faced a demographic crisis as child births in the country fell drastically while the number of senior citizens increased.
To address the problem, the country in 2016 permitted couples to have two children, thus scrapping the decades-old "one-child" policy, which experts said was responsible for the crisis.
In 2021, China passed an altered Population and Family Planning Law, which allowed couples to have three children. This came after a census in 2020 indicated that China's population growth was at its slowest.
"Low fertility rates mean that there are fewer potential mothers and fathers. The number of people willing to have children is also shrinking fast at the same time. Add these two factors together and we now see the trend of rapid shrinkage in natural population growth rate," Huang told The Global Times.
(With inputs from The Global Times.)