Census “difficult to produce” Ren Zeping: many places to reduce the birth population of 10%-30%

China’s seventh census results are “hard to come by”.

China’s seventh census report has yet to be released, with speculation that the delay is due to a sharp drop in population numbers, causing a crisis for those in power. As the census results were being delayed, Ren Zeping, a leading Chinese economist, released a report on China’s population, saying that the number of births across China had fallen by 10-30 percent.

Official Statement from the Chinese Communist Party

On Thursday, the National Bureau of Statistics of the Communist Party of China issued a statement saying, “In 2020, China’s population will continue to grow, and specific data will be released in the communiqué of the seventh national census.”

The Wall Street Journal reported on April 29 commenting that the statement was only a brief sentence and provided no further details.

The Chinese Communist Party officially conducts a population census every 10 years, and as a rule, the results are usually released in April; this is the seventh census of the Communist Party, but the government has so far not revealed the timing of the release of the results of this census.

On April 29, China Business News (CBN) reported that it was informed by informed sources that the data of the seventh census is expected to be released in the middle and early May. CBN’s reporter asked the National Bureau of Statistics of the Communist Party of China (NBSC) for confirmation of the above statement.

According to the report, the person who answered the phone at the data consultation office of the National Bureau of Statistics said, “There is no specific timetable yet, because some of the data are quite large and are still being processed. Before the results are released, we should have an announcement, so wait patiently again.”

Subsequently, a reporter from China Business News called the Population Division of the National Bureau of Statistics of the Communist Party of China, and the person who answered the phone said, “We are going through the process,” and that the exact timing needs to be confirmed with the Census Division.

As of press time, the reporter had not yet dialed the Census Division, according to reports in the Chinese media.

The Financial Times reported on April 27, citing unnamed sources, that China’s seventh census report was completed last December and was scheduled to be released in early April, but the results have not been made public. And China’s population exceeded 1.4 billion for the first time in 2019.

According to the report, the population data is very sensitive and requires agreement among government departments on the data and its implications before it is released.

Governments across the Communist Party of China are “standing by” for the seventh census data.

The mainland media reported that on April 15, the Statistics Bureau of Shandong Province and the Anhui Bureau of Statistics held a meeting on the seventh national census, requesting to strengthen the monitoring and response of public opinion, explain to the public the doubts and confusions, and guide the public opinion, and requesting to “strictly adhere to the rules of data confidentiality, and not to use the data before the release of the bulletin”.

Previously, Hebei, Fujian, Henan Puyang and other provinces and cities have made arrangements for the release and interpretation of the census.

Ren Zeping’s team: China’s birth population decreased by 10%-30% in many places

Ren Zeping’s team, a well-known Chinese economist, released the China Population Report on April 29, saying that as the seventh census report awaits release, many places disclosed a 10-30 percent drop in local births compared to 2019.

Ministry of Public Security (MPS) data show only 1.035 million newborns will be registered in 2020, a significant drop of about 15 percent from 2019. 2019 MPS newborn registrations were 80.5 percent of the births in that year’s Bureau of Statistics, and the inverse of this ratio suggests that the births in 2020 may fall by more than 2 million from 2019.

Data from the Information and Statistics Center of the Beijing Municipal Health Commission show that the number of births to the household population in Beijing in 2020 will be only 100,000, a decade low and 24.3% less than in 2019.

In 2016, when China’s two-child policy was implemented, the number of births climbed to 17.86 million that year, a peak since 2000, but then fell sharply in successive years. 2017 saw the number of births slump to 17.25 million, and in 2018 it fell by another 2 million to 15.23 million, before dropping to 14.65 million in 2019.

According to Ren Zeping’s team, the current fertility situation facing China is a rapid decline in the number of women of primary reproductive age, a significant decline in fertility and a markedly lower willingness to have children.

In 2019, the number of births in China drops to 14.65 million, with the population aged 65 and above accounting for 12.6%. According to the current trend, the total fertility rate will decline from 1.5 in 2019 to around 1.0-1.2 in the future as the effect of the comprehensive two-child policy completely disappears, the level of education increases, and urbanization advances. With an estimated total fertility rate of 1.0, the total population will be 1.21 and 520 million by 2050 and 2100, respectively, and the proportion of elderly people will be 31.2% and 53.4%, respectively. Even if the total fertility rate of 1.4 is slightly optimistic, the total population will be 1.27 billion and 730 million by 2050 and 2100, respectively, and the proportion of elderly people will be 29.6% and 40.7%, respectively.

According to Ren Zeping’s team, if the total fertility rate gradually rises to 1.8 in the next 10 years, China’s population will be 1.36 billion and 1.00 billion in 2050 and 2100 respectively, and the proportion of elderly people will be 28.9% and 32.5% respectively. If China’s total fertility rate gradually increases to about 2.1 in the next 10 years, China’s population will be 1.40 billion and 1.29 billion in 2050 and 2100, respectively, and the proportion of the elderly population will reach 26.8% and 26.7%, respectively.

China’s rapid population decline

According to Ren Zeping’s team, population quantity and quality together affect national power. Population is not only a consumer, but also a producer. A large population forms a big market on the demand side, and can provide sufficient labor and more talents on the supply side.

Shao Yu: There are certain peculiarities in 2020 in terms of population increment

Shao Yu, chief economist of Oriental Securities, wrote an article on April 29, saying that in terms of population increment, 2020 has certain peculiarities, and 2019 will not be the peak of China’s total population. However, the peak of the working-age population aged 15-64 already occurred in 2013, of which the net decrease of over 4 million per year from 2017-2019. The trend is difficult to reverse in the medium to long term, thus becoming a hard constraint for China’s economic development and a general context for transformation.