China's population decreased by 2 million in 2023, marking the second consecutive annual decline.
Deaths surged by 690,000 to reach 11.1 million, more than double the previous year.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics attributed the increase in deaths to the coronavirus outbreaks.
For the seventh consecutive year, China has witnessed a decline in the number of births, presenting an ongoing economic and societal challenge. The birth rate has steadily decreased, with 540,000 fewer births in 2023. Approximately 9 million babies were born, half the total in 2016.
China faces the challenge of an ageing population, a trend that could impede economic growth and strain resources. With a steady decrease in the working-age population (16-59 years old) to 61%, the country must adapt to the changing demographic landscape.
Despite efforts by the government to encourage larger families, reversing the impact of the previous one-child policy has proven challenging. People are marrying later, opting for fewer children due to the high cost of education, and contributing to the decline in the population of child-bearing age women.
China's demographic challenges pose economic and social risks, requiring comprehensive strategies to encourage family growth, support parents, and address the implications of an ageing society.
According to Statista, The current birth rate for South Africa in 2024 is 18.747 births per 1,000 people, a 1.3% decline from 2023. Niger had the highest birth rate in the world in 2023, with a birth rate of 46.86 births per 1,000 inhabitants.
Angola, Benin, Mali, and Uganda followed with more than 40 children born in each of the countries per 1,000 population in that year. Except for Afghanistan, all the 20 countries with the highest birth rates in the world were located in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Figures are estimates based on surveys and exclude Hong Kong and Macao. China conducts a full census every 10 years.