China remains home to 1.4 billion people. But that number is getting smaller.
The country’s National Bureau of Statistics reported China’s population slipped to 1.412 billion last year from 1.413 billion in 2021. The last time China saw negative population growth was in the 1960s.
Many experts believe that China’s one-child policy, introduced in the 1980s, is one of the main reasons for the population decline.
“China’s one-child policy was a mistake,” said Yi Fuxian, an expert on Chinese population trends at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “China is worried because its economic outlook is bleak.”
China revised its one-child policy to two in 2016 and three in 2021. But despite the change, younger adults don’t seem to be in much of a mood to follow the policy and have more babies. The country has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world, falling to an all-time low of 1.28 in 2020.