2022: PRC Demographer Yuan Xin: Low Fertility Challenge Calls for Policy Response

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Population Society Vice President Yuan Xin: Fertility Policy and Supporting Measures are Slow Variables: No Time to Lose on Population Issues

人口学会副会长原新:生育政策及配套支持措施是慢变量 人口问题判断要打足提前量

Source: Cai Lian News Agency 2022-08-03 

Cai Lian Financial News Service, August 3 (Reporter Zhang Manyu) August 1, the National Health Commission Party Group 中共国家卫生健康委党组  in its [See Google Translated:] “Write a New Chapter in the New Era of Population Work” [Chinese text]  《谱写新时代人口工作新篇章》[Translator note: This article appeared in the Chinese Communitst Party ideology journal Seeking Truth ] pointed out that the total population growth rate has slowed down significantly.  During the “14th Five-Year Plan” period China will enter a negative growth phase.  Negative population growth means “fewer children and an aging population” will become the norm. What signal does this statement by the Party Group of the Chinese Communist Party National  Health and Welfare Commission give?  How do you see the future trend of China’s population growth? What has been the effect of the policies introduced in recent years to encourage childbirth in many places? What will be the socio-economic impacts of “negative population growth” and “aging of the population as fewer children are born” and how should we deal with them? 

To address these questions, Caixin interviewed Yuan Xin  原新 , professor at the School of Economics of Nankai University and Vice President of the China Population Society.

Yuan Xin pointed out that we are now in a period of zero population growth.  The negative population growth trend will not change during the 14th Five-Year Plan period. We have entered a period where “negative population growth” and “increasing aging of the population” intersect. “The shrinking fertility base, low fertility intentions and low fertility behavior are common phenomena. At the same time, China is expected to enter a moderately old society this year or next, a severely old society around 2035, and a super old society in the 2050s.

In addition, Yuan Xin also believes that although India will overtake China as the world’s most populous country in 2023. During this century China will remain the world’s second most populous country.  China’s demographic opportunities are still there. However, we need to look ahead and get ahead of the curve in judging the population problem. We will need to beat the clock.  By the time a demographic phenomenon has evolved into a demographic problem and then we start to address it, we often find that we have already missed the best point to address the problem.

“Now we are in a period of zero population growth, and the negative population growth trend will not change during the 14th Five-Year Plan”

Caixin: On August 1, the party group of the National Health Commission pointed out in “Writing a New Chapter in Population Work in a New Era” that the growth rate of the total population has slowed down significantly and will enter a negative growth phase during the period of the 14th Five-Year Plan and that “fewer children and aging of the population” will become the norm.  What does this report tell us?  When will the inflection point of China’s negative population growth come?

Yuan Xin: Negative growth should be a dynamic process of demographic transition to be more precise. For China, because of the small number of international migrants, the country can be considered as a closed population, so when there are more deaths than births in a year, it can be considered as negative growth. There are two types of negative growth, one is a sudden reduction, such as the 1960s during the three years of hardship [Note: reference to the famine that killed about 30 million people. End note] and the other is a normalized negative growth due to a long-term low fertility rate that evolves according to the natural laws of demography. “During The 14th Five-Year Plan period we enter a period of negative growth, this means that it will possibly be a period of continual negative population growth. 

According to the international experience of countries that have reached negative population growth, there is a period of fluctuation around the zero population growth at which birth and death offset one another. After the fluctuation period, there is a stable norm of more deaths than births, and the total population continues to decline. We are now in a period of zero population growth, and a steady state of negative population growth during the 14th Five-Year Plan period essentially cannot be changed. 

We achieved replacement level fertility in 1991, with an average of 2.09 children per woman. From 1992 to the present, the fertility level has been fluctuating below the replacement level and has never returned above 2. In demographic terms, a decline in fertility below replacement level is called low fertility, which also means that the intrinsic growth rate of the population has begun to change from positive to negative and has remained so for 30 years, with the population structural change strengthening a trend towards negative population growth. Figuratively speaking, we put the brakes on the population train in 1991, but due to the inertia of growth, the total population has been growing inertially from 1992 to now. The population will now not only stop growing, but will also start to grow negatively. Therefore, the negative population growth is the result of the law of population development that maintains a low fertility rate for a long time, and it is a fact that is difficult to change.

“In this year or next year, the number of elderly people over 60 years old in China will exceed 20% and China will become a moderately aged society”

Caixin: 2021 National Health Commission survey shows that the fertility intention of women of childbearing age in China continues to be low, with an average of 1.64 intended children, lower than 1.76 in 2017 and 1.73 in 2019, and only 1.54 and 1.48 for the post-90s and post-00s, which are the main age ranges of women giving birth. What do you think about the future trend of fertility intentions of women of childbearing age?

Yuan Xin: In 2006, the National Population Development Strategy proposed that in the next 30 years, our moderate fertility rate would be about 1.8.  In 2016 National Population Development Plan (2016-2030) also pointed out that our target fertility rate is about 1.8. “In the 14th Five-Year Plan, it is stated that we should promote the achievement of an appropriate fertility level of about 1.8. The total fertility rate of women of childbearing age in China will be 1.3 in 2020, and the increase from 1.3 to 1.8 must be realized that this is a very difficult process, because at present, the shrinking fertility base, weak fertility intentions and low fertility behavior are common. Low fertility behavior is a common phenomenon.

First, the fertility base is shrinking, and the number of women of childbearing age continues to decline, with about 320 million women of childbearing age now and only about 220 million by 2050. Then, the overall fertility intention is weak, and the fertility intention of the post-90s and post-00s has dropped to 1.4~1.5, which is lower than the 1.7~1.8 of the post-70s and post-80s. In addition, fertility behavior is low, and actual fertility behavior is lower than fertility intention, and the closer the birth cohort is to now, the lower the fertility intention is, and the lower the actual fertility level is, with fertility rate of 1.3 in 2020 and even lower than 1.2 in 2021,  we enter the ranks of countries and regions with the lowest fertility rate in the world.

Caixin: The Seventh Population Development Survey shows that the population aged 60 and above is 264.02 million, accounting for 18.70% (among which, the population aged 65 and above is 190.64 million, accounting for 13.50%), indicating that the degree of population aging has further deepened. At present, what level of population aging is China at? What is the aging trend during the 14th Five-Year Plan period?

Yuan Xin: We have entered a period where “negative population growth” and “increasing aging” intersect. Population aging is the historical law of population development. Declining mortality rates leading to longevity and declining fertility rates leading to fewer children are leading to an increase in the number of elderly people, and are also causing negative population growth.

Looking back at history, there have been 37 years since the founding of New China where the number of births exceeded 20 million. This can be divided into three phases, which can also be called three baby booms. The first phase was from 1950 to 1958, during which 206 million people were born.  Then the three years of hardship interrupted the peak births; the second phase was from 1962 to 1975, when 364 million people were born; and the third phase was from 1981 to 1997, when 375 million people were born. Three baby booms inevitably produced three older echo booms that came in the years after the 1960s. Now, all of the people born during the first baby boom have become elderly, and those born during the second baby boom are currently moving into old age.

My judgment is that in this year or next year, the number of people over 60 years old in China will account for roughly more than 20% of the population when China becomes a moderately old society. This proportion will rise to over 30% by about 2035 when China will become a very aged society. When the number of elderly population reaches its peak in the 2050s, they will become 40% of the population and China will become a super-aged society.

“Fertility policy and its supporting measures are slow variables that are unlikely to produce results soon”

Caixin: In recent years, many places have introduced policies to encourage childbirth. How do you evaluate the fertility encouragement policies introduced thus far, and how effective do they look so far? What room is there for improvement in these fertility support policies?

Yuan Xin : The policies currently in place around the world are probably in these categories:

  • Economic incentives, including maternity allowance, housing concessions, and tax relief for multi-child families, as well as the construction of a multi-layered, multi-pillar pension protection system; time support, such as extending the 98 days of maternity leave, providing paternity leave for men, providing baby care leave, and allowing flexible work for pregnant women in terms of location and time; and quality services, such as providing reproductive health services, and popularizing reproductive health knowledge and services. 
  • Quality services, such as providing quality services in reproductive health, popularizing reproductive health knowledge and technology, establishing a set of norms for reproductive services before marriage, after marriage, before pregnancy, during pregnancy, delivery and after delivery, and strengthening the construction of a universal childcare system for infants and children, as well as the construction of an elderly service system that coordinates with home and community institutions and combines medical care, health and recreation. 
  • Technical support, including the application of human assisted reproductive technology, treatment of infertility, psychological counseling for older pregnant women, and reduction of non-medically necessary abortions; childbirth care, including the construction of a childbirth-friendly policy environment, social environment, and family environment, and care, respect, and love for childbirth; childbirth safety, strengthening hospital births, especially services for older pregnant women, safeguarding the health of older pregnant women and their mothers, and interrupting mother-to-child transmission of infectious diseases such as AIDS.

Overall, the promotion program of the active reproductive policy includes a comprehensive package of economic, social, technological, service and environmental measures, covering all stages of the life cycle, with the simple purpose of trying to reduce the burden and pressure on families to have children, so that those who have children dare to have them, are willing to have them, and have them safely. The children who are born can have care and grow up healthy; the elderly can take care of themselves and reduce the worries of family retirement. 

However, we also need to understand that the fertility policy and its supporting measures are a chronic variable relative to the increase in the fertility level. These policies aimed at promoting fertility are  unlikely to produce results quickly. However if they are done well, observation over the long term will prove them to have been effective. 

Over the past 40 years or so, China’s economic and social development, an endogenous variable, has led to fertility changes, while family planning policies are exogenous variables, with the two variables moving in opposite directions. But today and in the future, economic and social development continues to push society towards a low fertility rate, but the exogenous variable of fertility policy points to the desirability of an appropriate increase in fertility, and the two forces become opposing. Thus, fertility policy can have the effect of stimulating higher fertility rates, certainly no more than it did when it was previously driving fertility rates down, which is the law of population development.

“China will remain the world’s second most populous country during this century: demographic opportunities remain”

Caixin: What will be the socio-economic impact of “negative population growth” and “fewer children aging”? How can China’s economy cope with the irreversible trend of negative population growth?

Yuan Xin: In terms of population aging, there are opportunities and challenges, but overall the challenges may outweigh the opportunities. In terms of negative population growth, the total population and labor force at the early stage will not show the so-called precipitous or avalanche decrease.

In such a scenario, if we can maintain a fertility level of about 1.5, our total population will still be above 1.3 billion by 2050, with 700-800 million people left by the end of this century. Although India will overtake China to become the first populous country from 2023.  We will remain the second most populous country for the remainder of this century; we will still be a populous country.

During the early 30 to 50 years of negative population growth, our total population decline and labor force decline will not not be that great and so the demographic opportunity will still be there. By 2050, the number of people in the labor force aged 15 to 59 will decrease from about 900 million now to about 600 to 700 million.  This is a number that is a little more than the sum of the working-age populations of developed countries around the world. In addition, the quality of our population has improved considerably, basically surpassing the average of health indicators of middle- and high-income countries. 

Health is the basis for carrying technical skills in education, and the average life expectancy has reached 77.9 years. From an educational point of view, in 1982, the population with higher education accumulated less than 7 million people, accounting for 0.6% of the total population. The 2020 census shows that the population with higher education accumulated 220 million people, accounting for 15.5% of the total population. The gross enrollment rate of higher education in China reached 54.4%, steadily entering the stage of general higher education not planned. This year’s higher education graduates are 10.76 million, equivalent to the number of people born in that year, if enrollment still maintains this scale, within eighteen years everyone will be able to go to college. Therefore we can see from these figures both the tremendous development of education, but also the challenges also in the overall structure of education.

Over 40 years of reform and opening up, our rapid economic growth relied mainly on labor-intensive industrial structure and high labor participation rate, which reaped a demographic dividend. In the next 30 years, we have to transform and must transform our economic development from high growth to high quality development, and the industrial structure must be technology-intensive, capital-intensive, service-intensive, and financial-intensive in the future, relying on improving labor productivity to reap the demographic dividend in the new era and bring into play the creative power of human capital. The transition to a human capital power provides a solid foundation, so this is an opportunity for future economic and social development.

In the next 30 years, along with the further extension of the average life expectancy and the rapid growth of population aging, the aging process has the typical characteristics of the earlier stage of population aging.  The proportion of the elderly population aged 60-69 is relatively high, and the average remaining life span of the 60-year-old population is being constantly extended.  This is precisely the basis for delayed retirement. On the one hand, the lower-aged elderly are more numerous, have longer remaining life spans and are in increasingly better health. In addition, the education of the younger elderly is getting better and better. Appropriate delayed retirement becomes the inevitable choice to develop the resources of the elderly and the longevity dividend. So there is a good opportunity in this area as well.

However, there is a problem that we must see: there is often a relatively long time lag before a demographic phenomenon becomes a demographic problem, and when it becomes a demographic problem and then begins to be managed, the best time is often missed. At the same time, we must also recognize that the population phenomenon is not the same thing as the population problem.  The population phenomenon is the regular result of population development.  If it accords with the country’s economic and social development, it is not a problem. If it does not match the country’s economic and social development, then it is a problem.  

Therefore, on the one hand, we must be determined that although the negative population growth and population aging brings more serious challenges to economic and social development, we need to be focused on the main issue: achieving the sustainable development of the economy and society. We should anticipate changes, take early initiatives and look far ahead.  In other words, the negative population growth and population aging caused by low fertility rate still gives us relatively more opportunities over the short term. If we look at the medium and long-term future, the space to find such opportunities will definitely be further reduced and the challenges will be even greater. Therefore we should begin now dealing with the low fertility level and negative population growth and population aging. There is no time to lose.


Revised Google Translate machine translation:

Write a New Chapter in the New Era of Population Work

Source: “Seeking Truth” [Chinese Communist Party ideological journal Qiu Shi] 2022/15 Author: Party Group of the National Health Commission of the Communist Party of China 2022-08-01 09:00:00

Compose a new chapter of population work in the new era

Party Group of the National Health Commission of the Communist Party of China

  Population development is a ” great issue facing the country”. In June 2021, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council issued theDecision on Optimizing the Fertility Policy to Promote Long-term Balanced Population Development” 《关于优化生育政策促进人口长期均衡发展的决定》(hereinafter referred to as the “Decision”), making a comprehensive deployment of population work in the new era. This is a major decision made by the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, standing at the strategic height of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, based on the new development stage, implementing new development concepts, building a new development pattern, scientifically grasping the laws of population development, and taking into account multiple policy goals.  More than a year after the “Decision” was issued, all regions and departments have taken active actions to improve the leadership mechanism, introduce supporting measures, and promote the implementation of the task of optimizing the fertility policy, and related work has made positive progress. Promoting the long-term balanced development of the population requires continuous efforts and long-term efforts. It is necessary to further study and understand General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important expositions on population work and the spirit of the “Decision”, better unify thoughts and actions into the decision-making and deployment of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, take responsibility, work hard, and strive to promote High-quality development of population work in the new era.

  I. Deeply understand General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important exposition on population work

  Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has long-sighted and strategized strategies, put forward a series of scientific judgments on population work in the new era, and made a series of major arrangements to push my country’s population work to a new level. General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important exposition on population work fully embodies a profound understanding of population issues and an accurate grasp of the law of population development. Times population work points the way and provides follow.

  Population development is a major event related to the development of the Chinese nation. General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized that the population problem has always been an overall, long-term and strategic issue facing my country; my country’s modernization is a modernization with a huge population, a modernization in which all the people are prosperous, and a modernization in which material civilization and spiritual civilization are coordinated. It is a modernization in which man and nature coexist in harmony, and a modernization that takes the path of peaceful development. The “Decision” pointed out that the implementation of the three-child birth policy and supporting measures is conducive to improving the population structure and implementing the national strategy to actively respond to population aging; it is conducive to maintaining the advantages of human resource endowments and coping with great changes unseen in the world in a century; The downward trend of the total fertility rate will promote the realization of a moderate fertility level; it will help consolidate the achievements of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way and promote the harmonious coexistence of man and nature. 

Looking back on the party’s century-long struggle, almost all the major problems faced by the development of each historical period are closely related to the population problem. After the founding of New China, in the face of the heavy pressure brought by the rapid population growth, the party struggled to explore a development path suitable for my country’s national conditions, and began to plan family planning. In the early 1970s, family planning was fully implemented in urban and rural areas. After decades of efforts, the type of population reproduction was transformed from “high birth, low death, and high growth” to “low birth, low death, and low growth”. It supported the cause of reform and opening up and socialist modernization, significantly improved the living and development conditions of the people, and laid a solid foundation for winning the battle against poverty and building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way.

In August 2021, in order to improve the treatment level of critically ill pregnant women and critically ill newborns, and effectively ensure the safety of mothers and babies, the Wannian County Health Commission and other departments of Shangrao City, Jiangxi Province organized medical institutions in the county to conduct a competition of maternal and infant safety skills.  The picture was taken during the competition. Seeking truth picture Xu Shenggao / photo

  

  Starting a new journey of building a modern socialist country in an all-round way, focusing on the overall strategy of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the great changes in the world unseen in a century, the population issue is still a major strategic issue that must always be paid close attention to and handled prudently. We must adhere to the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, use Marxist population theory to analyze and solve population problems, fully affirm the historical contributions and great achievements of population work, and unswervingly follow the path of comprehensively solving population problems with Chinese characteristics, and strive to achieve The strategic goal of promoting the long-term balanced development of the population. Firmly establish the awareness of national conditions and national policies, adhere to comprehensive decision-making on population and development, and consciously take the population issue as an important starting point for promoting reform, planning for development, and improving people’s livelihood. Adhere to bottom-line thinking, clearly see that population is a key variable affecting economic and social development, and an important factor affecting comprehensive national strength and national security, effectively enhance the sense of urgency, responsibility and mission, have the courage to act, be good at solving problems, and improve the population in the new era. Work hard.

  The strategic goal of population work is to promote the long-term balanced development of the population. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that in recent years, my country’s population development has undergone some significant changes, facing both the pressure of a large population and the challenges brought about by the transformation of the population structure. The “Decision” emphasizes that, with balance as the main line, overall consideration should be given to issues such as population size, quality, structure, and distribution, so as to promote the coordinated and sustainable development of population, economy, society, resources, and environment, and to promote the all-round development of human beings. 

In the new era, our country’s population development is facing profound and complex changes in the situation. Under the negative population growth, “low birthrate and aging population” will become the norm. 

  1. With the further release of the negative growth potential of the population accumulated over a long period of time, the growth rate of the total population has slowed down significantly, and the “14th Five-Year Plan” period will enter a stage of negative growth. 
  2. The fertility level has continued to decline. In recent years, the total fertility rate has dropped below 1.3. Low fertility has become the most important risk affecting the balanced development of my country’s population. 
  3. The deepening of the aging degree. It is expected to enter a stage of severe population aging around 2035 (over 30% of the population over the age of 60). 
  4. The shrinking of the average family size. In 2020, the average family size will drop to 2.62 people, a decrease of 0.48 people compared with 2010, and the functions of pension and childcare will be weakened. Fifth, there is regional imbalance. In some areas with fragile ecology and lack of resources, the contradiction between population and development is still relatively prominent.

  In view of the above trends, the task of optimizing the fertility policy and promoting the long-term balanced development of the population is heavier, more demanding, and more difficult, requiring long-term and arduous efforts. It is necessary to strengthen strategic awareness, deeply understand that population development is related to the long-term and the overall economic and social development, and always incorporate population development into the strategic arrangements for the two stages of modernization.

The revived Chinese dream provides human capital support and domestic demand support. Establish a systematic concept, take into account multiple goals, correctly handle the relationship between current and long-term, total amount and structure, population and resource environment, and strive to achieve a balanced development state with a moderate population size, high quality, optimized structure, and reasonable distribution. Pay attention to regional coordination, and in some areas where the contradiction between population and development is relatively prominent, various management services will be accurately implemented to guide the orderly flow and rational distribution of population, maintain the stability and security of ethnic and frontier areas, and further consolidate the achievements of poverty alleviation and building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way. .

 In order to solve the care problem of infants and young children aged 0-3 years and promote the long-term balanced development of the population, in recent years, governments at all levels, from the central to the local level, have successively issued policies to encourage and support the development of infant and young child care services. 
The picture shows on November 2, 2021, at the Xiaohonghua Nursery Center, Xinhai Street, Haizhou District, Lianyungang City, Jiangsu Province, children play games happily under the guidance of their teachers. 
Photo by Geng Yuhe / Photo by Qiushi

  

  The focus of the current work is to improve the active birth support policy system. General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized that in the journey of the new era, all comrades in the party must grasp the most immediate and realistic interests of the people, insist on taking the things that the people care about as their own major affairs, and do things from the things that the people care about. From the beginning, seek more benefits for people’s livelihood, and solve more worries about people’s livelihood, and continue to provide education for the young, education for learning, income for labor, medical care for the sick, support for the elderly, housing for living, and support for the weak. Make new progress, continuously promote social fairness and justice, and continuously promote the all-round development of human beings and the common prosperity of all people. 

The “Decision” proposes to comply with the expectations of the people, actively and steadily promote the optimization of the fertility policy, promote the coordination and fairness of the fertility policy, meet the diverse fertility needs of the masses, consider marriage, childbirth, parenting, and education as a whole, effectively solve the people’s worries, and release fertility potential to promote family harmony and happiness. The essence of population work is to promote the all-round development of people and promote family harmony and happiness. With the acceleration of my country’s industrialization, urbanization, and modernization, the level of education has been continuously improved, the medical and health conditions have continued to improve, the social security system has been gradually improved, the quality of life of the people has been greatly improved, and the concept of fertility has generally shifted to fewer children and better children. A survey by the National Health Commission in 2021 shows that women of childbearing age will continue to be less and less willing to bear children. The average number of children planning to have children is 1.64, which is lower than 1.76 in 2017 and 1.73 in 2019. After” are only 1.54 and 1.48. Factors such as heavy financial burdens, unattended children and women’s concerns about career development have become major barriers to fertility.

  Population work concerns everyone and every family. At present, our country’s supporting policy system for childbirth support is not perfect, and there is a big gap compared with the population development situation and the people’s eager expectations. It is urgent to speed up the establishment and improvement. We must adhere to the people-centered development philosophy, conform to the people’s expectations for a better life, firmly grasp the prominent problems in fertility and parenting that the people have strongly reflected on, respect grassroots practice, learn from international experience, and proceed from my country’s national conditions. Just do it, do your best, study and solve it seriously, and constantly make up for the weak points, so as to improve the people’s sense of gain, happiness, and security. Develop good policies “to do a one-two punch”, continue to exert efforts in fertility support and family development, promote the simultaneous development of fertility policy and related economic and social policies, and make policies such as housing, education, medical care, employment, taxation, and social security appropriate for families with children.

We should actively build a reasonable sharing mechanism of fertility costs and a fertility-friendly policy support system, effectively reduce the burden of family fertility and parenting, and stimulate fertility potential. Promote the orderly connection of policies, do good things well and implement practical facts, earnestly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of family planning families before, establish and improve a comprehensive support and security system for special family planning families, so that people who respond to the call of the party and the government do not suffer. Feel the warmth of the socialist system.

  Driven by deepening reforms, we will continue to advance the modernization of population governance capabilities. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that it is necessary to combine the continuous promotion of reform with serving the overall work of the party and the country, and to promote creative and leading reforms around strategic goals and tasks such as implementing new development concepts, building a new development pattern, and promoting high-quality development. The “Decision” emphasizes that focusing on the prominent contradictions and problems faced by my country’s population development, focusing on the strategic arrangements for modernization, deepening reforms, removing constraints such as ideological concepts, policies, regulations, systems and mechanisms that affect the long-term balanced development of the population, and improving population governance capabilities and level. 

Optimizing fertility policy is a major reform in population work, and a series of work ideas, methods and means must be resolutely and thoroughly changed according to the new situation and task requirements. In the past, we focused on controlling the number of people, but now we focus on raising the appropriate fertility level, improving the quality of the population, improving the population structure, optimizing the population distribution, and promoting the long-term balanced development of the population.

The basic national policy has a new connotation; Restrictive measures, enhance the inclusiveness of fertility policies, optimize comprehensive services for fertility and parenting, and introduce active support measures to effectively reduce the burden on the masses and improve family development capabilities; in the past, we mainly relied on government forces, but now we pay more attention to the coordinated governance of the government and society, and respect and give full play to the society. All parties are positive and create a fertility-friendly social atmosphere.

  To promote the modernization of population governance capacity, we must adhere to comprehensive governance, implement the main responsibility of the party committee and the government to take the lead in taking the lead, consolidate the work pattern of coordination among various departments and the participation of the whole society, form a joint force in population work, and actively respond to the severe challenge of low fertility rate. Strengthen situation research and judgment, closely track and monitor the trend characteristics of population changes, adhere to problem orientation, put forward countermeasures and suggestions in a timely manner, continuously improve population development strategies and policy plans, and firmly grasp the initiative in work. Adhere to the guidance of the rule of law, insist that major reforms are based on the law, and implement them in accordance with the law, and translate the innovative ideas, reform achievements, and practical experience of the Party and the people in coordinating solutions to population problems into law, ensuring the implementation of various tasks, and ensuring the legality of the people. rights and interests, and ensure the stable and long-term development of population work in the new era.

  2. China’s population work has achieved remarkable results since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of my country

  Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has attached great importance to population issues, scientifically grasped the laws of population development, focused on the overall situation of modernization, and made strategic decisions to gradually adjust and improve the fertility policy and promote long-term balanced population development. The thinking and methods of population work have undergone historic changes, the fertility policy has been gradually optimized, the reform of service management has been advanced simultaneously, and supporting measures have been continuously improved. A series of decisions and deployments made by the CPC Central Committee on population work continue to arouse enthusiastic responses in the society. It is called a thoughtful “gift package” sent by the central government. Population work continues to open up new realms and achieve new results.

  Population development has improved. According to the seventh national census, the proportion of children aged 0-14 in the total population has increased from 16.60% in 2010 to 17.95% in 2020. The proportion of the second child and above in the birth population has increased from about 35% before the policy adjustment to more than 55% in recent years. The sex ratio at birth has dropped from 118 in 2010 to around 111 in 2020, gradually tending to a normal level. The average life expectancy of residents increased from 74.83 years in 2010 to 77.93 years in 2020, the average years of education for people aged 15 and over increased from 9.08 years in 2010 to 9.91 years in 2020, and the urbanization rate of permanent residents increased from 2010. 49.68% in 2020 rose to 63.89% in 2020.

  The level of prenatal and postnatal care has been significantly improved. Fully implement the five systems of maternal and infant safety, carry out pregnancy risk assessment and project management of high-risk pregnant women, and establish and improve a nationwide network for the treatment of critically ill pregnant women and newborns. Up to now, 3,364 treatment centers for critically ill pregnant women and 3,070 treatment centers for critically ill newborns have been established nationwide. Implement maternal health care services and comprehensive prevention and treatment of birth defects, standardize the development of assisted reproductive technology services, and actively promote early childhood development. In 2021, the maternal mortality rate will drop to 16.1 per 100,000, and the infant mortality rate and the mortality rate of children under 5 will drop to 5.0 per thousand and 7.1 per thousand respectively, ranking among the top middle- and high-income countries in the world. In 2021, compared with 2011, the maternal mortality rate will decrease by 38%, the infant mortality rate will decrease by 58%, and the under-5 mortality rate will decrease by 54%.

In recent years, Jiangbei District, Chongqing City has established and improved the community elderly care service network of “street and town elderly care service centers + community elderly care service stations + community elderly care service points”, and introduced professional service institutions to participate in the operation, making full use of social forces, and continuously improving elderly care service facilities and functions to improve the quality of life of residents in their later years.  The picture shows that on December 6, 2021, the elderly ate at the elderly meal service station in Zhengjie community, Dashiba Street, Jiangbei District. Xinhua News Agency reporter Wang Quanchao / photo

  

  Inclusive childcare services are off to a good start. A series of normative documents and service guidelines such as fire safety, injury prevention, and nutritional feeding have been formulated and promulgated. Infant and young child care majors were added in secondary vocational, higher vocational colleges, and higher vocational undergraduates, and the “National Vocational Skills Standards for Nursery School Teachers” was promulgated, and the number of nurseries per 1,000 population was listed as one of the main indicators of the national “14th Five-Year Plan” outline. A special campaign for inclusive nursery services was implemented, and the central budget invested to support the construction of 200,000 inclusive nursery places. Vigorously develop various forms of inclusive childcare services to promote the healthy development of community and family childcare services. By the end of 2021, the number of supporters per 1,000 population will reach 2.03.

  Supporting policies have taken solid steps. The implementation of special additional deductions for infant and child care services under the age of 3 is included in individual income tax special additional deductions. Some localities are actively exploring the issuance of maternity allowances and childcare subsidies. All localities generally extend maternity leave for more than 60 days, and allow for about 15 days of spouse paternity leave and 5-30 days of parental parental leave. Explore and improve public rental housing and other housing security policies, and give preference to eligible families with multiple children. Large-scale public places are generally equipped with maternal and child facilities, and the goal of building as much as possible has been generally completed. Continue to increase the coverage of inclusive kindergartens, carry out “double reduction” in education, and promote the high-quality and balanced development of compulsory education and the integration of urban and rural areas. The standard of family planning special family assistance has been unified between urban and rural areas, a dynamic adjustment mechanism has been established, the level of old-age medical security has been steadily improved, and social care activities have been carried out in depth.

  3. Make every effort to implement the various tasks of the “Decision”

  Practices over the past year have proved that the blueprint for my country’s population development in the new era drawn by the “Decision” is in line with economic and social development, in line with the expectations of the people, and has achieved remarkable results. It is necessary to continue to do a good job of implementing the “Decision” as a major political task, and strive to create a new situation for population work in the new era.

  Strengthen the Party’s overall leadership over population work. Give full play to the core role of the party in taking over the overall situation and coordinating all parties. Party committees and governments in all localities should improve their political positions, enhance their awareness of national conditions and national policies, establish and improve a deliberation and coordination mechanism to promote long-term balanced development of the population, improve the target management responsibility system for population work, and strengthen Overall planning, policy coordination and work implementation. Focusing on “the issues of the elderly and the issues of the very young”, establish and improve a population service system covering the entire life cycle, and strengthen the function of grass-roots care for children and elderly care. Improve the population monitoring and early warning system covering the entire population and the entire life cycle, strengthen supervision and inspection, and ensure the smooth completion of the phased goals and tasks set out in the “Decision”.

  Improve and implement positive fertility support measures. Explore and improve the holiday labor cost sharing mechanism jointly participated by the government, employers, and individuals. Accelerate the development of affordable rental housing, and accurately implement preferential policies for buying and renting houses. Employers are encouraged to negotiate on an equal footing with workers, flexible use of vacation time, childcare support, and family-friendly workplaces. Improve the comprehensive support and security system for families with special family planning, and do a good job of support and care.

  Accelerate the development of the inclusive nursery service system. Implement the “14th Five-Year Plan” for the development of childcare services, and actively implement public childcare service capacity building projects and special actions for inclusive childcare services. Encourage and support qualified kindergartens to recruit 2-3 year olds. Strengthen professional personnel training, on-the-job training and teaching materials construction, and gradually implement the qualification access system for nursery practitioners in accordance with the law. Create a national model city for infant care services. Promote the realization of the planned target of 4.5 per 1,000 population in 2025. Strengthen comprehensive supervision and resolutely maintain the bottom line of safety and health.

  Deepen research on population development strategies and situational judgments. Build a high-end think tank on population issues, and deepen research on major issues such as population and economic society, resources and environment, scientific and technological progress, and national security. Establish a long-term balanced development of the population and a fertility-friendly evaluation index system, follow up and evaluate the implementation effects of population planning, fertility policies and supporting measures, play chess first, take the initiative to fight, and actively respond to risks and challenges. Actively participate in global population and development exchanges and cooperation, and contribute Chinese wisdom and Chinese solutions.

  Focus on building a fertility-friendly social environment. Pay attention to family style, build a new culture of marriage and parenting, carry forward the traditional virtues of the Chinese nation, respect the social value of childbirth, encourage couples to share childcare responsibilities, and tell Chinese stories of beautiful love, harmonious family, and happy life in the new era. Continue to promote the reform of marriage customs, and break the stereotypes and bad habits such as very expensive and elaborate marriage ceremonies and very expensive dowries.


人口学会副会长原新:生育政策及配套支持措施是慢变量 人口问题判断要打足提前量

来源:财联社 2022-08-03 13:54:49

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(原标题:人口学会副会长原新:生育政策及配套支持措施是慢变量 人口问题判断要打足提前量)

财联社8月3日讯(记者 张曼玉)8月1日,国家卫健委党组在《谱写新时代人口工作新篇章》中指出总人口增速明显放缓,“十四五”期间将进入负增长阶段,人口负增长下“少子老龄化”将成为常态。卫健委这一表述释放了什么信号,如何看待未来中国人口增长趋势?近年来多地出台的鼓励生育的政策效果如何?“人口负增长”“少子老龄化”将造成何种社会经济影响,如何应对?围绕这些问题,财联社记者采访了南开大学经济学院教授、中国人口学会副会长原新。

原新指出,现在我们处在人口零增长时期,“十四五”期间人口负增长态势不会改变。我们进入了“人口负增长”和“老龄化加剧”交汇的时期。“目前生育基数缩减、生育意愿疲软、生育行为低迷是普遍现象。同时预计在今年或明年进入中度老龄社会,到2035年左右进入重度老年社会,在本世纪50年代进入超级老龄社会。

此外,原新还认为,虽然从2023年起,印度会超过中国变成第一人口大国,但是第二人口大国的帽子在这个世纪内会一直在我们的头上,中国的人口机会还在。但对人口问题的判断要有预见性、超前性,要打足提前量。当人口现象演变成人口问题的时候,再开始治理,往往就错过了最佳时机。

“现在我们处在人口零增长时期,十四五期间人口负增长态势不会改变”

财联社:8月1日,国家卫健委党组在《谱写新时代人口工作新篇章》中指出总人口增速明显放缓,“十四五”期间将进入负增长阶段,人口负增长下“少子老龄化”将成为常态。这释放了什么信号?中国人口负增长的拐点会在何时到来?

原新:负增长准确一点说应该是个动态的人口转变过程。对于中国来说,因为国际移民数量很少,可以把全国视为封闭人口,所以当年度死亡人口多于出生人口就可以认为是负增长。负增长大致有两种类型,一种是突发性事件的减少,比方说三年困难时期的1960年;另外就是按照人口规律演进,长期低生育率导致的常态化的负增长。“十四五”期间进入负增长阶段,指的就是有可能实现持续性的常态化的负增长。

按照国际上已经实现了人口负增长的国家的经验来看,在负增长前大概有一个零增长的波动期,人口变动在出生死亡抵消的零值附近有一些波动。波动期过后,就会进入稳定的常态化的死亡人口多于出生人口了,人口总量持续减少。现在我们正处在零人口增长期,“十四五”期间实现稳态的人口负增长,基本不会改变。

我国在1991年就实现了更替水平生育率,平均每个妇女生育2.09个孩子。从1992年到现在,生育率水平一直在更替水平之下波动下降,再没回到过2以上。从人口学解释,生育率降至更替水平以下就称之为低生育水平,也意味着人口的内在增长率已经开始从正转负,且维持了30年之久,人口变动孕育着负增长的能量。形象的比喻,1991年我们就已经把人口列车的刹车给踩下去了,但是由于增长的惯性作用,从1992年到现在,人口总量一直保持惯性增长状态,当然,惯性总是要结束的,“十四五”期间这个人口惯性作用即将消耗殆尽,人口不但将停止增长,还将开始负增长。所以说,人口负增长是长期维持低生育率水平的人口发展规律的结果,是难以改变的事实。

“在今年或明年我国 60岁以上老年人口数量占比超20%,进入中度老龄社会”

财联社:2021年国家卫健委调查显示,我国育龄妇女生育意愿继续走低,平均打算生育子女数为1.64个,低于2017年的1.76个和2019年的1.73个,而作为生育主体的90后、00后仅为1.54个和1.48个。对于未来育龄妇女生育意愿的趋势,你怎么看?

原新:2006年,国家人口发展战略提出,在未来的30年中,我国的适度生育率水平是1.8左右。2016年《国家人口发展规划(2016—2030年)》也指出,我们的目标生育率是1.8左右。“十四五”规划里面指出,要促进实现适度生育水平,达到1.8左右。2020年我国育龄妇女总和生育率为1.3,从1.3增加到到1.8,我们必须意识到,这是一个很艰难的过程,因为目前生育基数缩减、生育意愿疲软、生育行为低迷是普遍现象。

首先,生育基数缩减,育龄妇女人数持续减少,现在育龄妇女人数大概有3.2亿人,到2050年左右,大概只剩2.2亿人左右。再有,整体的生育意愿疲软,90后、00后的生育意愿已经掉到了1.4~1.5,比70后、80后的1.7~1.8更低。另外,生育行为低迷,实际的生育行为比生育意愿更低,而且出生队列越接近现在,生育意愿越低,实际的生育率水平也越低,2020年生育率为1.3,2021年更是低于1.2,进入了全球最低生育率国家和地区的行列。

财联社:七普显示,60岁及以上人口为26402万人,占18.70%(其中,65岁及以上人口为19064万人,占13.50%),说明人口老龄化的程度进一步加深。当前,我国人口老龄化处于哪种程度?十四五期间,老龄化趋势是怎样的?

原新:我们进入了“人口负增长”和“老龄化加剧”交汇的时期。人口老龄化是人口发展的历史规律。死亡率下降导致长寿化、生育率下降导致少子化都导致了老年人数量的增加,同时也在造成人口负增长。

回看历史,从新中国成立至今有37年的出生人数超过2000万人。这可以分成三个阶段,也可以叫三个婴儿潮。第一阶段是1950年到1958年,这个期间出生了2.06亿人,然后三年困难时期隔断了出生高峰;第二阶段是1962年到1975年,一共出生3.64亿人;第三阶段是1981年到1997年,出生了3.75亿人。三个婴儿潮在60年后必然会产生三个老年潮。现在,第一个婴儿潮时期出生的人口已经全部变成了老年,第二个婴儿潮期间出生的人目前正在步入老年。

我的判断是,在今年或明年我国 60岁以上老年人口的数量占比大概超过20%进入中度老龄社会,到2035年左右超过30%进入重度老年社会。本世纪50年代当老年人口数量达到峰值的时候,大概能占比40%左右,进入超级老龄社会。

“生育政策及其配套支持措施是慢变量,不可能很快产生效果”

财联社:近年来,多地出台鼓励生育政策。你如何评价目前出台的鼓励生育政策,目前看这些政策效果如何?这些生育支持政策还有哪些可以改善的空间?

原新:目前各地出台的政策大概有这几类:经济激励,包括生育津贴、住房优惠,以及对于多孩家庭的税费减免等,还有多次层、多支柱的养老保障体系的建设;时间支持,比如在98天产假的基础上做延长,给男性设置陪护假,设置婴儿照护假,孕产妇可以在地点和时间方面实行弹性工作等;优质服务,比如提供生殖健康方面的优质服务,普及生殖健康知识和技术,建立婚前、婚后、孕前、孕中、生产和产后一整套的生育服务规范,同时加强建设普惠制的婴幼儿的托育体系等,还包括居家社区机构相协调、医养康养相结合的养老服务体系的建设;技术支持,包括人类辅助生殖技术的应用,治疗不孕不育症,对大龄孕产妇进行心理辅导,减少非医学需要的人工流产等;生育关爱,包括生育友好的政策环境、社会环境、家庭环境建设,照护、尊重、关爱生育者等;生育安全,加强住院分娩,尤其是为大龄孕产妇提供服务,保障大龄孕产妇母婴的健康,还有阻断艾滋病等传染病的母婴传播等。

总体来说,积极生育政策的促进方案包括经济、社会、技术、服务、环境等一揽子综合措施,覆盖生命全周期的各个阶段,目的很简单,就是设法减轻家庭生育的负担和压力,让生育者敢生、愿意生、安全地生;生出来的孩子能够在托育方面“幼有所托,幼有所育,健康成长”;老年人可以颐养天年,减少家庭养老的后顾之忧。不过,我们也要知道,生育政策及其配套支持措施相对于生育率水平的提升是一个慢性变量,所有这些政策对于生育的刺激,不可能很快产生效果,只要扎扎实实地做下去,长期观察一定会有效。

过去40多年,我国经济社会发展这个内生性变量导致生育率变化,而计划生育政策是外生性变量,两个变量相向而行。但是今天及未来,经济社会的发展继续指向低生育率,但是生育政策这个外生性的变量却指向适当提高生育率,两股力量变成了相背而行。因此,生育政策能够产生刺激生育率升高的作用,当然不会比之前推动生育率下降时的效果更大,这也是人口发展规律。

“第二人口大国的帽子在本世纪内会一直在我们头上,人口机会还在”

财联社:“人口负增长”“少子老龄化”将造成何种社会经济影响?人口负增长趋势无法逆转,中国经济如何应对?

原新:从人口老龄化来说,有机遇也有挑战,总体来说挑战可能大于机遇。从人口负增长来说,早期阶段的总人口和劳动力人口不会呈现所谓的断崖式、雪崩式减少的现象。

在这样的情形之下,如果能保持生1.5左右的生育率水平,到2050年,我国总人口还会在13亿以上,到这个世纪末还有7-8亿人。虽然从2023年起,印度会超过中国变成第一人口大国,但是第二人口大国的帽子在这个世纪内会一直在我们的头上,我们还是个人口大国。

在人口负增长早期的三五十年内,我们人口总量减少、劳动力减少的数量级没有那么大,所以人口机会还在。到2050年,15岁到59岁劳动力的数量会从现在的9亿左右减少到6~7亿左右,这个数量比全世界发达国家的劳动年龄人口的数量的总和还要多一些。另外,我们人口的素质有很大提升,基本上超越了中高收入国家的健康指标的平均值。健康是承载教育技术技能的基础,平均预期寿命已达77.9岁。从教育的角度来说,1982年,受过高等教育的人口累计不到700万,占总人口的0.6%。2020年的人口普查显示,受过高等教育的人口累计2.2亿,占总人口的15.5%。我国高等教育毛入学率达到54.4%,稳定的进入了普通高等教育不计划阶段。今年高等教育毕业生是1076万,相当于当年出生的人口数量,如果招生还维持这个规模,18年以后人人都能上大学了,所以从这些数字背后既可以看到教育的巨大发展,也可以看到对于整个教育布局的挑战。

40多年的改革开放,我们的经济高速增长主要靠劳动密集型产业结构和高劳动参与率,收获了人口红利。未来30年我们要转型也必须转型,经济发展从过去的高增长型变成高质量发展,产业结构将来一定是技术密集型、资本密集型、服务密集型、金融密集型,要依靠提高劳动生产率,来收获新时代的人口红利,发挥人力资本的创造能力,而越来越健康的身体和越来越好的教育恰恰为人力资源大国向人力资本大国转型提供坚实基础,所以这是未来经济社会发展的一个机会。

在未来30年,伴随平均预期寿命的进一步延长,伴随人口老龄化快速增长,老龄化过程具有典型的低龄老龄化特点,60-69岁低龄老人占老年人口比重相对较高,60岁人口的平均余寿不断延长,这些恰恰这就是延迟退休的基础。一方面,低龄老人规模大,余寿长,健康状况越来越好。另外,低龄老人接受的教育也越来越好。适当延迟退休就成了开发老年人力资源和长寿红利的必然选择。所以在这方面也存在着很好的机会。

但是,有一个问题我们必须看到,人口现象演变成人口问题,往往有个比较长的时间滞后,当人口现象演变成人口问题的时候,再开始治理,往往就错过了最佳时机。同时也要认识到,人口现象不等于人口问题,人口现象是人口发展的规律性结果,如果与经济社会发展匹配,就不是问题,如果与经济社会发展不匹配,就一定是问题,所以,一方面,必须确定尽管人口负增长和人口老龄化交汇给经济社会发展带来更加严峻的挑战,但是,应对人口负增长和人口老龄化的本质问题是经济社会的可持续发展,这是基本观点。另一方面,我们对人口问题的判断要有预见性、超前性,要打足提前量,高瞻远瞩。换句话说,低生育率造成的人口负增长和人口老龄化,未来短期之内机会还比较多。如果从未来的中长期的视角去观察,这种机会的空间一定会进一步的缩小,挑战会进一步加剧。那么,我们应对低生育率水平、应对人口负增长、应对人口老龄化,就应该从现在开始布局,时不我待。


谱写新时代人口工作新篇章

来源:《求是》2022/15 作者:中共国家卫生健康委党组 2022-08-01 09:00:00

谱写新时代人口工作新篇章

中共国家卫生健康委党组

  人口发展是“国之大者”。2021年6月,中共中央、国务院印发《关于优化生育政策促进人口长期均衡发展的决定》(以下简称《决定》),对做好新时代人口工作作出全面部署。这是以习近平同志为核心的党中央站在中华民族伟大复兴的战略高度,立足新发展阶段、贯彻新发展理念、构建新发展格局,科学把握人口发展规律,兼顾多重政策目标而作出的重大决策。《决定》印发一年多来,各地区各部门积极行动,完善领导机制、出台配套支持措施,推进优化生育政策任务落实,相关工作取得积极进展。促进人口长期均衡发展要持续用力,久久为功。要进一步深入学习领会习近平总书记关于人口工作的重要论述和《决定》精神,更好地将思想和行动统一到以习近平同志为核心的党中央决策部署上来,担当作为,真抓实干,努力推动新时代人口工作高质量发展。

  一、深刻领会习近平总书记关于人口工作的重要论述

  党的十八大以来,以习近平同志为核心的党中央高瞻远瞩、运筹帷幄,对新时代人口工作提出一系列科学判断,作出一系列重大部署,推动我国人口工作迈上新台阶。习近平总书记关于人口工作的重要论述,充分体现了对人口问题的深刻认识、对人口发展规律的准确把握,蕴含着深远的战略思维、强烈的使命担当、真挚的为民情怀,为做好新时代人口工作指明了方向,提供了遵循。

  人口发展是关系中华民族发展的大事情。习近平总书记强调,人口问题始终是我国面临的全局性、长期性、战略性问题;我国现代化是人口规模巨大的现代化,是全体人民共同富裕的现代化,是物质文明和精神文明相协调的现代化,是人与自然和谐共生的现代化,是走和平发展道路的现代化。《决定》指出,实施三孩生育政策及配套支持措施,有利于改善人口结构,落实积极应对人口老龄化国家战略;有利于保持人力资源禀赋优势,应对世界百年未有之大变局;有利于平缓总和生育率下降趋势,推动实现适度生育水平;有利于巩固全面建成小康社会成果,促进人与自然和谐共生。回顾党的百年奋斗历程,各个历史时期发展面临的重大问题几乎都与人口问题密切相关。新中国成立后,面对人口快速增长带来的沉重压力,党艰辛探索适合我国国情的发展道路,开始酝酿计划生育。20世纪70年代初,在城乡全面推行计划生育,经过几十年努力,实现了人口再生产类型从“高出生、低死亡、高增长”向“低出生、低死亡、低增长”的转变,有力支撑了改革开放和社会主义现代化事业,显著改善了人民群众的生存和发展状况,为打赢脱贫攻坚战和全面建成小康社会奠定了坚实基础。

2021年8月,为提升危重孕产妇、危重新生儿救治水平,切实保障母婴安全,江西省上饶市万年县卫生健康委等部门组织该县医疗机构进行母婴安全技能大比武。图为比武现场。 求是图片 徐声高/摄

  2021年8月,为提升危重孕产妇、危重新生儿救治水平,切实保障母婴安全,江西省上饶市万年县卫生健康委等部门组织该县医疗机构进行母婴安全技能大比武。图为比武现场。 求是图片 徐声高/摄

  开启全面建设社会主义现代化国家新征程,着眼中华民族伟大复兴战略全局和世界百年未有之大变局,人口问题仍然是必须始终高度关注、稳妥处理的重大战略问题。必须坚持以习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想为指导,用马克思主义人口理论分析解决人口问题,充分肯定人口工作的历史贡献和伟大成就,坚定不移走中国特色统筹解决人口问题的道路,努力实现促进人口长期均衡发展的战略目标。牢固树立国情国策意识,坚持人口与发展综合决策,自觉将人口问题作为推动改革、谋划发展、改善民生的重要出发点。坚持底线思维,清醒看到人口是影响经济社会发展的关键变量,是影响综合国力和国家安全的重要因素,切实增强紧迫感、责任感和使命感,勇于担当作为,善于破解难题,把新时代人口工作抓紧抓好。

  人口工作的战略目标是促进人口长期均衡发展。习近平总书记指出,近年来,我国人口发展出现了一些显著变化,既面临人口众多的压力,又面临人口结构转变带来的挑战。《决定》强调,以均衡为主线,统筹考虑人口数量、素质、结构、分布等问题,促进人口与经济、社会、资源、环境协调可持续发展,促进人的全面发展。新时代我国人口发展面临着深刻而复杂的形势变化,人口负增长下“少子老龄化”将成为常态。一是随着长期累积的人口负增长势能进一步释放,总人口增速明显放缓,“十四五”期间将进入负增长阶段。二是生育水平持续走低,近年来总和生育率降到1.3以下,低生育率成为影响我国人口均衡发展的最主要风险。三是老龄化程度加深,预计2035年前后进入人口重度老龄化阶段(60岁以上人口占比超过30%)。四是家庭小型化,2020年平均家庭户规模降至2.62人,较2010年减少了0.48人,养老和抚幼功能弱化。五是区域不平衡,一些生态脆弱、资源匮乏地区人口与发展矛盾仍然比较突出。

  鉴于以上趋势,优化生育政策、促进人口长期均衡发展的任务更重、要求更高、难度更大,需要付出长期艰苦的努力。必须强化战略意识,深刻认识人口发展事关长远、事关经济社会发展全局,始终将人口发展纳入现代化建设两个阶段战略安排中统筹考虑,最大限度发挥人口因素的能动作用,为实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦提供人力资本支撑和内需支撑。树立系统观念,兼顾多重目标,正确处理当前与长远、总量与结构、人口与资源环境的关系,努力实现人口规模适度、素质较高、结构优化、分布合理的均衡发展状态。重视区域协调,在一些人口与发展矛盾比较突出的地区,精准做好各项管理服务,引导人口有序流动、合理分布,维护民族和边疆地区稳定安全,进一步巩固脱贫攻坚和全面建成小康社会成果。

  为解决0—3岁婴幼儿的照护问题,促进人口长期均衡发展,近年来,从中央到地方,各级政府相继出台政策鼓励和支持发展婴幼儿托育服务。图为2021年11月2日,在江苏省连云港市海州区新海街道小红花托育中心,小朋友在老师带领下快乐地做游戏。 求是图片 耿玉和/摄

  为解决0—3岁婴幼儿的照护问题,促进人口长期均衡发展,近年来,从中央到地方,各级政府相继出台政策鼓励和支持发展婴幼儿托育服务。图为2021年11月2日,在江苏省连云港市海州区新海街道小红花托育中心,小朋友在老师带领下快乐地做游戏。 求是图片 耿玉和/摄

  当前工作的着力点是完善积极生育支持政策体系。习近平总书记强调,在新时代的征程上,全党同志一定要抓住人民最关心最直接最现实的利益问题,坚持把人民群众关心的事当作自己的大事,从人民群众关心的事情做起,多谋民生之利,多解民生之忧,在幼有所育、学有所教、劳有所得、病有所医、老有所养、住有所居、弱有所扶上不断取得新进展,不断促进社会公平正义,不断促进人的全面发展、全体人民共同富裕。《决定》提出,顺应人民群众期盼,积极稳妥推进优化生育政策,促进生育政策协调公平,满足群众多元化的生育需求,将婚嫁、生育、养育、教育一体考虑,切实解决群众后顾之忧,释放生育潜能,促进家庭和谐幸福。人口工作的本质是促进人的全面发展、促进家庭和谐幸福。随着我国工业化、城镇化、现代化进程加快,教育水平不断提高,医疗卫生条件持续改善,社保体系逐步健全,人民群众生活质量大幅提升,生育观念总体转向少生优育。2021年国家卫生健康委调查显示,育龄妇女生育意愿继续走低,平均打算生育子女数为1.64个,低于2017年的1.76个和2019年的1.73个,作为生育主体的“90后”、“00后”仅为1.54个和1.48个。经济负担重、子女无人照料和女性对职业发展的担忧等因素已经成为制约生育的主要障碍。

  人口工作关系到每个人每个家庭,当前,我国配套生育支持政策体系尚不完善,与人口发展形势、与人民群众热切期盼相比存在较大差距,亟待加快建立健全。必须坚持以人民为中心的发展思想,顺应人民群众对美好生活的期待,紧紧抓住人民群众反映强烈的生育养育等方面的突出问题,尊重基层实践,借鉴国际经验,从我国国情出发,量力而行,尽力而为,认真加以研究解决,不断补短板强弱项,提高人民群众的获得感、幸福感、安全感。打好政策“组合拳”,在生育支持和家庭发展方面持续用力,促进生育政策与相关经济社会政策同向发力,住房、教育、医疗、就业、税收、社保等政策适当向生育子女的家庭倾斜,积极构建生育成本合理分担机制和生育友好的政策支持体系,切实减轻家庭生育养育负担,激发生育潜能。促进政策有序衔接,把好事办好、实事办实,切实维护之前实行计划生育家庭的合法权益,建立健全计划生育特殊家庭全方位帮扶保障制度,让响应党和政府号召的群众不吃亏,感受到社会主义制度的温暖。

  以深化改革为动力持续推进人口治理能力现代化。习近平总书记指出,要把接续推进改革同服务党和国家工作大局结合起来,围绕落实新发展理念、构建新发展格局、推动高质量发展等战略目标任务,推进创造性、引领性改革。《决定》强调,着眼于我国人口发展面临的突出矛盾和问题,着眼于现代化建设战略安排,深化改革,破除影响人口长期均衡发展的思想观念、政策法规、体制机制等制约因素,提高人口治理能力和水平。优化生育政策是人口工作的重大改革,一系列工作思路、方法和手段,必须根据新的形势和任务要求坚决彻底转变。过去关注控制人口数量,现在着力提升适度生育水平、提高人口素质、改善人口结构、优化人口分布,促进人口长期均衡发展,基本国策有了新内涵;过去以管理为主,现在要清理和废止相关制约措施,增强生育政策包容性,优化生育养育综合服务,出台积极支持措施,切实减轻群众负担,提升家庭发展能力;过去主要依靠政府力量,现在更加注重政府和社会协同治理,尊重并充分发挥社会各方面积极性,营造生育友好的社会氛围。

  推进人口治理能力现代化,要坚持综合治理,落实党委政府牵头抓总的主体责任,夯实各部门协同配合、全社会共同参与的工作格局,形成人口工作合力,积极应对低生育率的严峻挑战。加强形势研判,密切跟踪监测人口变化趋势性特征,坚持问题导向,及时提出对策建议,不断完善人口发展战略和政策规划,牢牢把握工作的主动权。坚持法治引领,坚持重大改革于法有据,依法实施,将长期以来党领导人民在统筹解决人口问题方面的创新理念、改革成果、实践经验转化为法律,保障各项任务落实,保障人民群众合法权益,保障新时代人口工作行稳致远。

  二、党的十八大以来我国人口工作取得显著成效

  党的十八大以来,以习近平同志为核心的党中央高度重视人口问题,科学把握人口发展规律,着眼现代化建设全局,作出逐步调整完善生育政策、促进人口长期均衡发展的战略决策。人口工作的思路和方法实现历史性转变,生育政策逐步优化,服务管理改革同步推进,配套支持措施不断完善。党中央有关人口工作一系列决策部署,在社会上持续引发热烈反响,被称为中央送的贴心“大礼包”,是“带着温度落地”的好政策,得到了人民群众的衷心拥护。人口工作不断开辟新境界,取得新成效。

  人口发展态势得到改善。第七次全国人口普查数据显示,0—14岁少儿人口占总人口比重从2010年的16.60%提高到2020年的17.95%。出生人口中二孩及以上占比由政策调整前的35%左右提高到近年来的55%以上。出生人口性别比从2010年的118降至2020年的111左右,逐步趋于正常水平。居民人均预期寿命由2010年的74.83岁提高到2020年的77.93岁,15岁及以上人口的平均受教育年限由2010年的9.08年提高到2020年的9.91年,常住人口城镇化率由2010年的49.68%上升到2020年的63.89%。

  优生优育水平明显提升。全面推行母婴安全五项制度,推行妊娠风险评估和高危孕产妇专案管理,建立健全覆盖全国的危重孕产妇和新生儿救治网络。截至目前,全国建成3364个危重孕产妇救治中心、3070个危重新生儿救治中心。落实孕产期保健服务和出生缺陷综合防治,规范开展辅助生殖技术服务,积极促进儿童早期发展。2021年,孕产妇死亡率降至16.1/10万,婴儿死亡率和5岁以下儿童死亡率分别降至5.0‰和7.1‰,居全球中高收入国家前列。2021年与2011年相比,孕产妇死亡率降幅为38%,婴儿死亡率降幅为58%,5岁以下儿童死亡率降幅为54%。

近年来,重庆市江北区建立健全“街镇养老服务中心+社区养老服务站+小区养老服务点”的社区养老服务网络,并引入专业服务机构参与运营,充分利用社会力量,不断完善养老服务设施与功能,提升居民晚年生活品质。图为2021年12月6日,老年人在江北区大石坝街道正街社区养老助餐服务站用餐。 新华社记者 王全超/摄

  近年来,重庆市江北区建立健全“街镇养老服务中心+社区养老服务站+小区养老服务点”的社区养老服务网络,并引入专业服务机构参与运营,充分利用社会力量,不断完善养老服务设施与功能,提升居民晚年生活品质。图为2021年12月6日,老年人在江北区大石坝街道正街社区养老助餐服务站用餐。 新华社记者 王全超/摄

  普惠托育服务开局良好。制定出台托育机构设置标准、管理规范、备案办法以及消防安全、伤害预防、营养喂养等一系列规范性文件和服务指南。在中职、高职专科、高职本科增设婴幼儿托育专业,颁布《保育师国家职业技能标准》,将每千人口托位数列为国家“十四五”规划纲要的主要指标之一,实施普惠托育服务专项行动,中央预算内投资支持建成20万个普惠托位。大力发展多种形式的普惠托育服务,促进社区和家庭托育服务健康发展。截至2021年底,每千人口托位数达到2.03个。

  配套支持政策迈出坚实步伐。实施3岁以下婴幼儿照护服务费用纳入个人所得税专项附加扣除,一些地方积极探索发放生育津贴、育儿补贴等。各地普遍延长产假60天以上,设立15天左右的配偶陪产假、5—30天不等的父母育儿假。探索完善公租房等住房保障政策,向符合条件的多子女家庭倾斜。大型公共场所普遍配备母婴设施,应建尽建的目标总体完成。持续提升普惠性幼儿园覆盖率,开展教育“双减”,推进义务教育优质均衡发展和城乡一体化。计划生育特殊家庭扶助金标准实现城乡统一,建立动态调整机制,养老医疗保障水平稳步提高,社会关怀活动深入开展。

  三、全力推动《决定》各项任务落到实处

  一年多来的实践证明,《决定》绘就的新时代我国人口发展蓝图,符合经济社会发展,符合人民群众期待,取得明显成效。要把贯彻落实《决定》作为一项重大政治任务继续抓好抓实,奋力开创新时代人口工作新局面。

  加强党对人口工作的全面领导。充分发挥党总揽全局、协调各方的领导核心作用,各地党委和政府要提高政治站位,增强国情国策意识,建立健全促进人口长期均衡发展的议事协调机制,完善人口工作目标管理责任制,加强统筹规划、政策协调和工作落实。以“一老一小”为重点,建立健全覆盖全生命周期的人口服务体系,增强基层抚幼养老功能。健全覆盖全人群、全生命周期的人口监测预警体系,加强督促检查,确保《决定》提出的阶段性各项目标任务顺利完成。

  完善和落实积极生育支持措施。探索完善由政府、用人单位、个人等共同参与的假期用工成本分担机制。加快发展保障性租赁住房,精准实施购房租房倾斜政策。鼓励用人单位与职工平等协商,灵活使用假期,提供育儿支持,创建家庭友好型工作场所。健全计划生育特殊家庭全方位帮扶保障制度,做好扶助关怀工作。

  加快发展普惠托育服务体系。落实“十四五”托育服务发展规划,积极实施公办托育服务能力建设项目和普惠托育服务专项行动。鼓励和支持有条件的幼儿园招收2—3岁幼儿。加大专业人才培养、在职人员培训和教材建设力度,依法逐步实行托育从业人员资格准入制度。创建全国婴幼儿照护服务示范城市。推动实现2025年每千人口托位数达到4.5个的规划目标。加强综合监管,坚决守住安全和健康的底线。

  深化人口发展战略研究和形势研判。建设人口问题高端智库,深化人口与经济社会、资源环境、科技进步、国家安全等重大问题研究。建立人口长期均衡发展及生育友好评估指标体系,跟进评估人口规划、生育政策和配套支持措施的实施效果,下先手棋,打主动仗,积极应对风险挑战。积极参与全球人口与发展交流合作,贡献中国智慧和中国方案。

  着力构建生育友好的社会环境。重视家庭家教家风,建设新型婚育文化,弘扬中华民族传统美德,尊重生育的社会价值,鼓励夫妻共担育儿责任,讲好新时代美好爱情、和谐家庭、幸福生活的中国故事。持续推进婚俗改革,破除婚嫁大操大办、高价彩礼等陈规陋习。

About 高大伟 David Cowhig

After retirement translated, with wife Jessie, Liao Yiwu's 2019 "Bullets and Opium", and have been studying things 格物致知. Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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