[The Epoch Times, November 05, 2023]China’s birth rate has plummeted, resulting in negative population growth. Mainland economists recently stated that China’s population changes are facing uncertainty, and negative population growth is likely to continue into the next century. This not only affects labor supply, but also curbs economic development. This topic has once again aroused heated discussion among the public.
On November 4, Zuo Xuejin, former executive vice president of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences and director of the Institute of Economics, attended the “China and World Economy Academic Symposium” and said that China’s negative population growth is likely to continue into the next century. In order to cope with the population In view of the challenges posed by changes to the economy, the authorities must accelerate the transformation of demand structure and increase investment in human capital to achieve high-quality development of the population.
According to “Yicai Global”, Zuo Xuejin said that the main risks of China’s population changes are mainly reflected in the continued negative growth and aging of the population and the extremely low fertility rate.
The simulation results of Zuo Xuejin and some scholars based on the stable population model show that assuming that the total population fertility rate increases linearly from 1.55 in 2015 to the replacement level of 2.1 in 2040, and remains unchanged thereafter, then the population will have to wait until 2097 to achieve negative growth. The trend can be reversed. Since the actual fertility rate is far lower than the research hypothesis, it is extremely unlikely that the fertility rate will return to the replacement level in 2040. Therefore, there is a high probability that negative population growth will continue into the next century.
Zuo Xuejin believes that negative population growth and aging will have a profound impact on China’s economic development. This impact mainly manifests itself on both the supply side and the demand side.
Impacts on the supply side are manifested in: labor scarcity and rising costs; savings and investment rates declining; the main driving force of economic growth shifting from traditional factors such as capital and labor to innovation and technological progress, and economic growth slowing down.
On the demand side, among the internal factors that have caused the triple impact of China’s economic demand contraction, supply shocks, and weakening expectations, negative population growth and aging are one of the important factors.
The relationship between population and economy has aroused heated discussions among the public.
prc7zux said: “To put it simply, there is great social pressure, the cost of childbirth and education is too high, and housing prices are too high, so people are reluctant to have children.”
Xin Ruzhishui said: “My monthly salary is 6,000, I have two children, I go to the children’s hospital for various examinations, and 1,500 is gone. Children account for half of my monthly expenses. Life is too difficult.”
The person who signed the contract said: “It’s not that I don’t want to have children, but I don’t dare to have children. If I can’t support myself, how can I support my wife and children? I don’t want to harm the next generation, and I don’t want the next generation to struggle like myself. If I don’t get married and don’t have children, it might be a problem.” The greatest kindness… If you want people to have children, let’s first solve the problem of employment difficulties and almost no upward ladder”;
Xiao Xinxin said: “The true colors of the branches will appear only when the flowers have fallen. The vast rural areas, the main source of population and labor force, have begun to make people feel lonely. Every time I return to my hometown, except for the endless The mountains and rivers have changed, but the population has withered. In the cities, most of them are busy and tired for life, and have no time to take care of their parents, let alone have children. Therefore, the aging of the population is accelerating, and the young population continues to decrease. It’s basically a certainty.”
Editor in charge: Xia Song