China's population will peak at 1.5 billion in the mid-2030s, experts
According to a research report
released Thursday, the population will begin to gradually drop after reaching
Meanwhile, the number of new-born baby boys will continue to outstrip that of
baby girls, with 119 boys for every 100 girls, according to the national
population development strategy research report.
The ratio has remained stable, with a national census six years ago yielding
roughly the same figure, but is still worrying, according to the report.
The internationally recognized normal ratio is 103-107 of one sex against 100
of the other. But in China, for every 100 new born baby girls, there were 109
baby boys in 1982, and 111 in 1990.
Foetus gender identification and non-medical abortion, which continue despite
being illegal, are blamed for the unbalanced gender figures.
A draft of a revision to the Criminal Law, which was discussed by the
Standing Committee of the National People's Congress late last year and this
April, proposes that those who help identify the gender of a foetus for
non-medical purposes face criminal charges.
Approved by the State Council, the report aimed to investigate population
development trends, as well as the relationship between population, the economy,
resources and the environment.
More than 300 scholars, including 11 academicians, spent two years compiling
the report, which also involved more than 70 governmental departments and
Their research won an award yesterday at a national conference on population
and family planning.
"China has now entered its fourth birth peak," said Jiang Fan, vice-director
of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, yesterday. The
previous three peaks occured in 1949, 1962 and 1987.
China's population stood at 1.307 billion in late 2005, according to census
The research report urged the government not to change current population
In the coming 30 years the average fertility rate will be about 1.8 children
for every woman, it said.
"A higher or lower fertility rate is not beneficial for economic and social
development in China," it added.
China's labour forces will become the largest in history in the next 30
years, said Chen Li, director of the national population development strategy
(China Daily 06/23/2006 page1)