The Korea Herald


[Graphic News] China’s population decline continues

By Nam Kyung-don

Published : Feb. 5, 2024 - 08:01

    • Link copied

China’s population fell for a second consecutive year in 2023, as a record low birth rate and a wave of COVID-19 deaths when strict lockdowns ended accelerated a downturn that will have profound long-term effects on the economy’s growth potential.

The National Bureau of Statistics said the total number of people in China dropped by 2.08 million, or 0.15 percent, to 1.41 billion in 2023. That was well above the population decline of 850,000 in 2022, which had been the first since 1961 during the Great Famine of the Mao Zedong era.

China experienced a dramatic nationwide COVID-19 surge early last year after three years of tight screening and quarantine measures kept the virus largely contained until authorities abruptly lifted curbs in December 2022.

Total deaths last year rose 6.6 percent to 11.1 million, with the death rate reaching the highest level since 1974 during the Cultural Revolution. New births fell 5.7 percent to 9.02 million and the birth rate was a record low 6.39 births per 1,000 people, down from a rate of 6.77 births in 2022. (Reuters)