Beijing’s top official admits: China is out of the demographic dividend period

Miao Wei, former Chinese Minister of Industry and Information Technology, now Deputy Director of the CPPCC Economic Commission admitted on November 14, China has out of the “demographic dividend” period, not only after the full opening of the two-child policy birth rate is not increasing but decreasing, and in 2022 will enter the “deep aging society.

China’s “demographic dividend” has been the decline or even disappearance of the argument, although it has long been scholars, media and the public repeatedly mentioned, but the Chinese authorities have been reluctant to publicly admit. Miao Wei’s statement is known to be a rare admission by a senior Chinese official that the demographic dividend has disappeared.

The 11th Caixin Summit was held recently in Beijing, where Miao Wei said that the age structure of China’s population has changed dramatically due to declining birth rates. From 2010 to 2019, the proportion of China’s labor force age population has fallen from 74.5 percent to 70.7 percent, and the proportion of the youth population has fallen sharply, but the proportion of the elderly population has increased greatly.

Miao Wei said that from 2015 to 2019, the total number of migrant workers in China increased from 277 million to 290 million, although there is still growth, but the growth rate has slowed down. Some organizations predict that the size of China’s workforce in 2050 will shrink by a significant 23% compared to 2019.

In contrast, Miao Wei pointed out that in 2019, China’s population of people over 60 years of age has exceeded 250 million people, a population share of up to 18.1%. According to the China Development Research Foundation research shows that by 2022, China will enter the “deep aging society”, and in the next 10 years, accelerate into the “super-aging society”.

On the other hand, he said, although China’s two-child policy has been fully open since 2016, not only has it not brought about a birth peak, but the number of births has declined year by year. Taking 2017 as a benchmark, the number of births fell by 2 million in 2018; in 2019, it fell by another 580,000 to 14.65 million, with a birth rate of only 10.48 births per 1,000; the birth rate is expected to fall again to less than 11 million in 2030.