22 November 2023
Guess what’s not being made in China. Enough babies. China has been losing ground to its neighbour just over the Himalayas, India in terms of population growth. Chinese authorities in Hong Kong took this as a cue to contact recently married women, inquiring whether they expect to be expecting.
Guess what’s not being made in China. Enough babies.
China has been losing ground to its neighbour just over the Himalayas, India in terms of population growth. Chinese authorities in Hong Kong took this as a cue to contact recently married women, inquiring whether they expect to be expecting.
The topic was brought to light via an online post by a newlywed woman who claimed she received a phone call from her local government asking if she was pregnant.
Before the post was removed, thousands of other users had commented on it confirming that they had received similar phone calls.
One user on a service called Weibo, a Twitter-esque social media platform, recounted the experience of a colleague who was reportedly told by local government officials that newlyweds were meant to be pregnant within a year.
China has long held the title of world’s most populous nation. However, analysts have estimated that India’s population has already overtaken China’s by 5 million.
Although both countries are neck and neck, hovering around the 1.4 billion mark, India may have the advantage of youth on its side. One in five people below 25 years in the world is from India and 47% of Indians are below the age of 25.
On the other hand, China may be left nursing a rapidly ageing population, 20% of whom are currently 60 years or older. The country is believed to be home to the largest population of older people in the world.
China’s decades-old one-child policy was scrapped in 2016 and replaced with a two-child limit. In May 2021, the policy was amended to allow couples a three-child limit.
As China recently celebrated its Lunar New Year on 22nd January, the country’s government will be hoping that its people can hop to it and make the Year of the Rabbit one that brings with it more babies.
- BBC News, China NPC: Three-child policy formally passed into law
- BBC News, India v China: Is becoming the most populous country a boon or curse?
- Bloomberg, India’s population has already overtaken China’s, analysts estimate
- Chinese New Year, Chinese Zodiac
- NPR, This baby could push India past China to become the world’s most populous country
- PEW Research Center, Key facts about China’s declining population
- Reuters, Chinese authorities ask: Dear newlywed, when’s the baby arriving?
- The Lancet, Population ageing in China: crisis or opportunity?