China’s Shrinking Population

Chinas Shrinking Population

Lucas Moura, Staff Writer

  China’s population is rapidly declining and this decline can significantly impact not only China but the entire world. A combination of factors is behind the drop in population such as the extreme consequences of the one-child policy China introduced in the early 1980s. They have now abandoned this policy but for more than 35 years this policy limited couples to only having one child. If women were caught violating this policy they were often subject to forced abortions, heavy fines, and eviction. However due to the failing birth rate, the government scrapped this policy in 2015, and it allowed couples to have two children. They have now raised this to 3 children in 2021. According to HSBC, “The Chinese economy is entering a critical transition phase, no longer able to rely on an abundant, cost-competitive labor force to drive industrialization and growth.” China’s economy is already in trouble, as it grew by only 3% by just 2022, this is one of its worst performances in nearly half a century. The shrinking workforce could make recovery even more challenging as China resumes outward travel and abandons many of the restrictions it has upheld for the past few years. Given its role in driving the global economy, China’s challenges could have implications for the rest of the world. Not only would a slowing Chinese economy drag on global growth, but it could also threaten China’s ambitions of overtaking the United States as the world’s largest economy. China also looks likely this year to lose its place as the world’s most populous nation to India, whose population and economy are both booming. However, some researchers argue that having a shrinking population can be good for both climate change and the economy.