Beijing's Population Falls, First Time Since 2003

    Beijing's Population Falls, First Time Since 2003
    Last updated Mar 22, 2023
    Image credit: Yahoo News


    • Official data released on Tuesday revealed that China’s capital Beijing experienced its first population decline since 2003 as the city’s death rate surpassed its birth rate in 2022.[1]
    • Beijing remains one of the country's most populous urban centers with 21.84M people, but its death rate rose to 5.72 deaths per 1k people, while its birth rate fell to 5.67 births per 1k people.[2]
    • The population decline was in line with China’s national trend, as the country saw its first national population decline in six decades last year. Several factors attributed to the decline are rising costs of living, weak economic growth, and changing attitudes toward raising a family.[3]
    • Official data last year showed China’s birth rate had fallen to 6.77 births per 1k people, the lowest on record.[4]
    • Officials have reportedly been encouraging families to have more than one child — a reversal from China's decades-long one-child policy, which was abolished in 2016.[4]


    Anti-China narrative

    China is in the throes of demographic and economic crises of its own making. After its brutal and failed one-child policy, China is trying to reverse startling trends of population decline, but it cannot reverse this unavoidable demographic disaster. China is at risk of losing its economic power as its labor-age population dwindles, and there's no quick fix for this problem.

    Pro-China narrative

    Some are all too eager to count on China’s economic demise amid decreasing birth rates, but China’s modernization efforts were built to withstand a shrinking population and maintain a strong economy into the future. In the short term, China will not feel the effects of its aging population, and it's already on the path to developing long-term solutions to modernize and strengthen its population and economy.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that China’s fertility rate will be at least 1.25 births per woman in 2031, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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