China’s population drops for the first time in decades

China’s population drops for the first time in decades

People venture out on the Bund promenade along the Huangpu River in Shanghai on Jan. 16, 2023.

Hector Retamal | Afp | Getty Images

BEIJING — China’s population declined in 2022, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday.

The drop was the first since the early 1960s, according to Yi Fuxian, a critic of China’s one-child policy and author of the book “Big Country With an Empty Nest.”

Mainland China’s population, excluding foreigners, fell by 850,000 people in 2022 to 1.41 billion, the statistics bureau said. The country reported 9.56 million births and 10.41 million deaths for 2022.

In 2021, China’s population grew by the slowest increase on record. The mainland China population, excluding foreigners, rose by 480,000 to 1.41 billion people at the end of 2021, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

New births on the mainland fell by 13% in 2021 to 10.62 million babies, the data showed. In 2020, new births fell by 22%, according to the data.

Separately over the weekend, Chinese health authorities disclosed nearly 60,000 Covid-related deaths in Chinese hospitals between Dec. 8, 2022, and Jan. 12, 2023. The majority were senior citizens, and the average age of death was 80.3 years, authorities said.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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