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Working-age population to decline by 30m by 2022

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-01-12 13:58

The number of young people in the country will fall by around 30 million by 2022 compared to the figure in 2017, according to a research conducted by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the news website yicai.com reported.

The research based on data from the sixth national population census of 2010 showed that China had 548 million people aged between 18 and 44, but the figure will be only 518 million in 2022, Wang Guangzhou, a researcher from the CASS' Institute of Population and Labor Economics, said.

Wang said the population aged between 18 and 35 will also decline from 366 million in 2017 to 344 million in 2022.

Li Jianxin, a sociologist from Peking University, carried out a separate research based on the UN's "World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision" and arrived at similar results.

The population aged between 15 and 24 in China will decline from 225 million in 2010 to 178 million in 2020, down 47 million in 10 years, Li said. The group will account for 18 percent of the total population in 2020, down from 23.17 percent in 2010, much lower than the US' 19.91 percent and India's 26.33 percent then.

Li said that even based on the UN's study, the country's youth population will decline. He said China is witnessing two trends: increasing aging population and fewer children.

The decline of young people will harm the country's innovation, reducing the motivation of sustainable development, and lack of labor forces for development in the future, which should concern all parties, he said.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the country's working-age population started to decline in 2011. The population aged between 15 and 59 fell 19 million from 2012 to 2016.

Zhou Tianyong, professor at the Party School of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said that young people is the major force driving the economic growth. The decline of young working-age population means fewer innovative talents, weakening the ability of social innovation, he said.

Li has called on the authorities and society to pay attention to adjust the situations as early as possible, since the population reproduction has its own rules.

He said authorities should relax the limits on childbirth and encourage the childbearing population to have more babies, and meanwhile reduce the costs of parenting and the burden for supporting the elderly.

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