China: demographic crisis?

Michael Roberts Blog

Much has been made recently of the slowdown in population growth in China. China’s population grew at its slowest rate in decades in the ten years to 2020, according to the latest census data, which also showed that births declined sharply last year. The nation’s once-in-a-decade census, which was completed in December, showed its population increased to 1.41bn in 2020 compared with 1.4bn a year earlier. The population grew just 5.4% from 1.34bn in 2010 — the lowest rate of increase between censuses since the People’s Republic of China began collecting data in 1953. Those over-65s now make up 13.5% of the population, compared with 8.9% in 2010 when the last census was completed.

This has led many China observers and Western economists to argue that China’s phenomenal growth rate that has taken over 850m Chinese out of poverty (as officially defined) is now over. The argument is that living…

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