UN forecasts for China indicate that it will lose the title of the most populous country on earth in favor of India this month, a cold reception from the Asian giant, which has already seen its population shrink for the first time in 60 years. years.
India’s population will reach 1,425,775,850 before May, certifying its status as the most populous nation, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs said on Monday, confirming progress made by the Fund for Population last week. It predicts that India’s population will outnumber the Chinese by 2.9 million this year.
decline in 2022
In 2022, China officially shed 850,000 people and ended the year with 1,411.75 million, as opposed to 1,412.6 million recorded at the end of 2021.
China last experienced population contraction in 1961, when it lost about 7 million people in the wake of a famine caused by a failed industrialization campaign known as the Great Leap Forward.
Negative growth is predicted by the authorities already expected in 2022.Before 2025″, however, already in 2021, nearly half of Chinese provincial-level administrations will have recorded more deaths than births.
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The Chinese Foreign Ministry recently downplayed India’s overtaking, saying, “”Population dividend“Of a country, it is necessary to observe”Not just population size“, however “And its quality”.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said:Size matters“But therein lies the key.”talent resources“, while pointing to “Almost 900 million of the 1.4 billion Chinese are of working age and have an average of 10.9 years of education.”.
Discussion on networks
The low profile maintained by the authorities and official media contrasted with the attention received on Chinese social networks, where many netizens expressed their relief at the awarding of the title to their neighbors: “A situation no country wants”, declared a user of the Weibo network, where many equated a large population with poverty and excessive competition for resources.
“Let’s congratulate India and worry about our own problems”, one Weibo commenter resolved.
However, Liu Chongqi, an expert at the Shanghai Institute of International Studies, says that in the local media, India “BeneficiaryThe geopolitical environment and “Adjustment of industrial supply chains“What can I do”Accelerate their economic development“, though he warned that New Delhi needs more work to prevent that.”The population dividend turns into a population disaster”.
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Years of low fertility
The population trends of the two powers have followed different trajectories in recent decades: although both countries had a similar fertility rate in 1971 (5 to 6 children per woman), China has reduced it to 3 children per woman in seven years. , one that has taken India for three and a half decades.
Similarly, China’s fertility rate fell below the replacement level of 2.1 children per woman in 1992, at the height of the one-child policy, and India fell below that threshold nearly 20 years ago.
Although China, whose fertility rate fell to 1.3 in 2020, has allowed a third child since the same year, many are reluctant to reproduce because of the economic burden and the priority many women give to their careers. And it’s delaying the age of marriage, which the National Health Commission recently predicted will intensify soon.
At the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2022, the ruling party insisted that the country needed a system.Increases birth rates and reduces costs of pregnancy, childbirth, schooling and parenting”.
National and local authorities have implemented initiatives such as opening singles databases to match teenagers, removing barriers to single women having children, or including assisted conception services in health insurance.
Beijing is gearing up for an aging society, with over-60s representing more than 30% of the population by 2035.Encourage constant training”.
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