China’s First Population Decline in 6 Decades


Ever since China’s Great Famine in 1961, China’s population has continued to increase every year, according to census data. With mainland China’s total population being 1.41 billion people, China is one of the most populated countries in the world. The birth rate was 7.52 births per 1,000 people in 2021. However, this number decreased in 2022 to 6.77 births per 1,000 people.

What caused this decline? China’s one-child policy, which lasted for 35 years, was set in place to control the speedily increasing population. This created an overall demographic decline, regardless of the policy formally ending in 2016. Further, its life expectancy has increased due to its economic opportunities and medical advancements.

Many are glad about this population decline because of concerns regarding the climate crisis. Overpopulation, especially in countries such as China and India, has created an increased risk of large-scale disasters and ecological degradation. Population decline, therefore, will reduce these damages.