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

See also related translations:

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



(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。








“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”







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。















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







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




  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









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










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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