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Why China’s shrinking population is a big deal

12 Comments
By Feng Wang

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the majority of the world is in the same predicament. The west and most of Asia are experiencing a population decline, and India is just hoovering around the replacement rate. Latin America is following the same trend. The only place left where the population is still growing is Africa.

Here are 2 Canadian demographers, Darrell Bricker & John Ibbitson, that explain the above in more detail.

The World's Shrinking Population - YouTube

Urbanization plays an important role in shifting population rates — Darrell Bricker & John Ibbitson - YouTube

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good post, Aly.

Having watched this for a number of years, Africa is the last place where there appears to be population growth. Beyond the local economical concerns, there is long term impacts on pollution, climate impacts, etc, when the world population starts dropping.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just in my lifetime, the world population has grown from fewer than 2.5 billion to over 8 billion. We added another billion people between 2011 and 2022. The idea that we are past the period of rampant population growth is premature. Maybe it is a good thing that China has stabilized its population, at least for one year.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A very long, elementary article with no insights. How does China's population aging affect its ability to fight sustained wars such as the one in Ukraine? How does it affect its creativity and economic dynamism? How does it affect distribution of power and authority in the corporate sector, and affect inter-generational distribution of wealth?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What do you need more people for though really?

Less room for you!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Births in Japan last year fell below 800,000.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the world population keeps growing, it will exceed the capacity of nature to feed us. The population should decline. Nature, our habitat, is more important than economy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Two sons, one married and has two, one never got married = 0 output from two sons I guess :(

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How does it affect distribution of power and authority in the corporate sector, and affect inter-generational distribution of wealth?

One of the great drawbacks of the prohibition on private land ownership in China is that intergenerational wealth is mostly non-existent except for some very wealthy Chinese able to buy land and stash money abroad. Most older Chinese like my own mother in law will die with nothing to leave their children except some clothes and household effects. A lucky minority might inherit a car. At best you can have a long term lease on where you live but you can never own the land beneath so there is no opportunity to build wealth through property.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How does China's population aging affect its ability to fight sustained wars such as the one in Ukraine? 

Fewer workers means less industrial output and less tax revenue with which to build / operate a big military. Also don't ignore the high costs of maintaining the kind of rigid police state one finds in China. The Great Firewall of China, finding, arresting and imprisoning people for protesting Covid-19, suppressing all manner of dissent, costs a great deal in terms of resources and manpower. That ain't cheap and it is money that could be used elsewhere in Chinese society.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It happens in all the world..

China will fix it, they know how to do everything..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Chinese population is getting old before it's getting rich

Not helping that they made the mistake of one-child policy and holding onto it for far too long - parents overwhelmingly chose boys over girls, so there's a huge imbalance with millions more males than females to have families

That's generations of time that ya cannot get back. They won't have enough workers to support the greying population who live longer and longer

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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