China’s population has shrunk by about 850,000 people in the past year. For the first time since 1961, the country has experienced a population decline.
The Chinese National Bureau of Statistics released the latest figures on the country’s population on Tuesday (local time). At the end of 2022, the country had a population of over 1.4 billion. A year earlier, there were 850,000 more.
In 2022, China had the highest mortality rate since 1974: 7.37 deaths per thousand inhabitants. That number was still 7.18 in 2021. The birth rate fell sharply: from 7.52 babies per thousand inhabitants to 6.77, the lowest figure since the birth statistics are kept.
The declining number of births in the country, according to experts, is due, among other things, to the greatly increased cost of schooling, as a result of which many Chinese choose no or only one child. The country is also still noticing the consequences of the one-child rule that applied between 1980 and 2015.
China is still the country with the most inhabitants in the world. In second place is India, which may overtake China this year.