China’s population fell in 2022 for the first time in decades in a historic shift that is expected to have long-term consequences for the domestic and global economies, reports the Financial Times. The world’s most populous country has long been a crucial source of labour and demand, fuelling growth in China and the world.
On Tuesday, the National Bureau of Statistics announced that the total population fell by 850,000 in 2022 to 1.41175 billion, the first decline in 60 years.
“This is a truly historic turning point, an onset of a long-term and irreversible population decline,” said Wang Feng, an expert on Chinese demographic change at the University of California, Irvine. The decline officially began last year, when deaths outstripped births, but some demographers argue that the trend is likely to have started before then.