Work­ing-age pop­u­la­tion plum­mets

China Daily (Canada) - - NEWS CAP­SULE -

China’s work­ing-age pop­u­la­tion saw its largest de­cline in mod­ern China’s his­tory in 2015, a trend that con­cerns de­mog­ra­phers and econ­o­mists.

De­fined as peo­ple be­tween 16 to 60, the work­ing-age pop­u­la­tion fell by a record 4.87 mil­lion, more than the pop­u­la­tion of Ire­land, to 911 mil­lion, sharper than 2014’s de­cline of 3.71 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Bureau of Sta­tis­tics.

De­clin­ing birthrates have pro­duced re­peated slumps in the work­ing-age pop­u­la­tion since 2012. In 2011, the group de­fined then as those 15 to 59 years old to­taled 941 mil­lion, or 69.8 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion. By the end of 2015, it had dwin­dled to 66.3 per­cent.

The NBS ad­justed the def­i­ni­tion of work­ing-age in 2013 to in­clude peo­ple aged 16 to 60.

“The dwin­dling work­ing-age pop­u­la­tion af­fects ev­ery­thing from the prop­erty mar­ket and au­to­mo­bile mar­ket to the larger issues of China’s in­no­va­tion and cre­ativ­ity in the fu­ture. The trend set the stage for the govern­ment’s de­ci­sion late last year to shift to a two-child pol­icy,” said Liang Jianzhang, a de­mog­ra­pher who had long ad­vo­cated the re­lax­ation.

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