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HomeBreaking NewsChina announces first population decline in years

China announces first population decline in years

'Quick read' news summary

BEIJING — China has announced its first population decline in decades as what has been the world’s most populous nation ages and its birthrate plunges.

The National Bureau of Statistics reported Tuesday that the country had 850,000 fewer people at the end of 2022 than the previous year. The tally includes only the population of mainland China, excluding Hong Kong and Macao as well as foreign residents.

That left a total of 1.41 billion people, with 9.56 million births against 10.41 million deaths, the bureau said at a briefing on Tuesday.

Men outnumbered women by 722.06 million to 689.69 million, a result of the strict one-child policy that only officially ended in 2016 and a traditional preference for male offspring to carry on the family name.

Since abandoning the policy, China has sought to encourage families to have second or even third children, with little success, reflecting attitudes in much of east Asia where birth rates have fallen precipitously. In China, the expense of raising children in cities is often cited as a cause.

China has long been the world’s most populous nation, but is expected to soon be overtaken by India, if it has not already. Estimates put India’s population at more than 1.4 billion and continuing to grow.

The last time China is believed to have recorded a population decline was during the Great Leap Forward at the end of the 1950s, under then-leader Mao Zedong’s disastrous drive for collective farming and industrialization that produced a massive famine killing

BEIJING -- China has announced its first population decline in decades as what has been the world's most populous nation ages and its birthrate plunges. The tally includes only the population of mainland China, excluding Hong Kong and Macao as well as foreign residents. China has long been the world's most populous nation, but is expected to soon be overtaken by India, if it has not already.

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