China is said to have been witnessing a steady population de-growth from the 1960s, despite removing its one-child cap in 2015, due to several reasons, including high living.
The average population growth rate stands at 0.53 per, cent below the 2000-2010 rate of 0.57 per cent, despite the scrapping of the single-child policy in 2015, according to a report published in The Guardian.
The overall population reached 1.4 billion in this census, which is reportedly below the set target for 2020. The dip in population growth is attributed to fewer people having children, delayed marriages, high cost of living and stalled social mobility.
According to the census, the proportion of 65 years and above, 8.9 per cent in 2010, reached 13.5 per cent. The proportion of children grew by 1.35 per cent while the working population's stood steady. This highlights China's rapidly ageing population, which is a rising economic concern, according to experts. This will force the government to increase the retirement age, which is already 60 for men and 55 for women.
The younger generation feels like they face uncertainty and competition in the labour market, which keeps them from family life. There are women who don't start a family life because of high costs of living, lack of public childcare, workplace discrimination, etc. Also, the heavy stress they bear over their careers and personal lives compared to what the men bear.
Many experts believe that though the government scrapped the single-child policy, it lifted the birth quota without any commitments. It shifted responsibilities to individuals, particularly women. They suggest that the government should think out of the box to take a proactive and holistic approach.
They also think that the government should notice workplace discrimination faced by women of childbearing age. The public childcare funding is meagre, and working mothers could not rely on parents or in-laws for childcare because of the retirement ages. China's central bank had put suggestions on similar lines, and it also called for an end to all childbirth limits.
(based on The Guardian report)