Beijing | China, the world’s most populous country, is in crisis. The new crisis is due to lower marriage and birth rates. Population was a major factor in China’s rise to become the world’s fastest growing economy. The world’s largest market and the largest human resource nation have contributed to the growth of the Chinese economy. But new figures suggest that as China’s critical population growth slows, things are likely to go awry.
According to the China Statistics Yearbook 2021, marriage rates in China have been falling steadily for the past seven years. Last year reported the lowest rate in 17 years. In the first three quarters of 2021, 58 lakh people were married in China. According to documents released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, this is a very low rate for the previous year. The government-controlled China Daily reports that the marriage rate is likely to remain low for the next three months if this trend continues.
Birth rates throughout China have dropped dramatically already. The birth rate in China was 0.852 percent last year. In 2016, China lifted the one-child rule, which it had followed for decades. The new Chinese government policy is to have at least three children. Experts say the sharp decline in the number of young people in the country is to blame for the decline in marriage rates. The number of people over the age of 60 in China has now risen to 26.4 crore. This is 18.7 per cent of the total population.
Experts attribute the Chinese lack of interest in marriage to higher work pressure, advances in women’s education, women’s financial independence, higher living standards, and rising housing prices. In China, as in many other Asian countries, there is an inextricable link between marriage and birth rates. Experts say the decline in the marriage rate is a situation that directly affects the birth rate in China.
It is reported that China has begun efforts to overcome the crisis caused by this situation. To this end, local bodies have introduced subsidies for young people to buy houses. Marriage and maternity leave are also compulsory.