China population: experts say birth-boosting policies should go deeper to build baby bump

by Luna Sun at

Though Beijing should provide more financial support for families to boost births, experts said, it will take more extensive measures to prevent the country’s falling population figures from jeopardising national economic growth and social cohesion.

Debate has swirled over the effectiveness of present pro-fertility policies, and calls for heavier subsidies have earned renewed attention ahead of the “two sessions” legislative meetings scheduled for early next month.

Delegates at this year’s edition are likely to discuss the major problems facing the world’s second-largest economy, including demographic trends that have become objects of deep concern.

The country’s population dropped for a second year in a row in 2023, down to 1.4097 after a 2.08-million-person decline. In the same year, only 9.02 million births were reported – the lowest level since record-keeping began in 1949.
Despite an array of pronatalist initiatives, most observers agree China’s low births are the result of a cocktail of social and economic factors defying any one quick fix, and if left unresolved will continue to dim China’s already cloudy economic outlook.