China is reaping the consequences of its brutal one child policy.
After killing approximately 400 million unborn babies in abortions — some of them by force, the Asian nation is now dealing with a new problem: a shrinking population.
The Washington Times reports new data released by the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics this week show more deaths than births in 2022. After 9.56 million births and 10.41 million deaths last year, there are approximately 850,000 fewer people in China, according to the data.
China still has the largest population in the world at 1.4 billion people, but its shrinking numbers are causing problems. Companies are struggling with worker shortages, men cannot find wives due to sex-selection abortions and aging, childless couples wonder who will care for them in their old age.
According to the new data, China has about 875.5 million people of working age, or 62 percent of its population, and 209.7 million residents over the age of 65, or about 15 percent of the population.
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The data also showed a skewed gender ratio, likely due to sex-selection abortions driven by the one child policy and a cultural preference for male children. In 2022, there were 722 million men and 689 million women in China, according to the statistics.
Here’s more from the report:
The last time China is believed to have recorded a population decline was during the Great Leap Forward at the end of the 1950s, Mao Zedong’s disastrous drive for collective farming and industrialization that produced a massive famine killing tens of millions of people. …
The statistics also showed increasing urbanization in a country that until recently had been largely rural. Over 2022, the permanent urban population increased by 6.46 million to reach 920.71 million, or 65.22%, while the rural population fell by 7.31 million.
China instituted its one child policy in 1980 to control its rapidly-growing population, and ended it in 2015. The policy led to numerous forced abortions and forced sterilizations as well as severe financial penalties and job losses for parents who violated the law. “Illegal” children who survived were hidden by their families or ostracized from society.
Since repealing the policy, the Chinese Communist Party has been trying to encourage families to have children.
In 2021, the National People’s Congress passed a law allowing families to have up to three children, the BBC reported at the time. Leaders said they hope the change will encourage families to have more children – especially after the country’s shift to a two-child policy appears to have failed to do so.
The government also repealed its “social maintenance fee,” a penalty for having more children than allowed under the law, and passed resolutions “encouraging local governments to offer parental leave, increasing women’s employment rights; and improving childcare infrastructure,” according to the report.
Under the one child policy, experts estimate as many as 400 million unborn babies were aborted in China, some forcibly.
It is not clear how many mothers were forced to abort their unborn babies under the oppressive policy, but human rights advocates say forced abortions have not stopped.
The Chinese government reportedly is forcing Uyghur women to abort their unborn babies as part of a mass genocide against religious and cultural minorities. A 2021 report estimated about 2 million Uyghurs, a Muslim minority group in China, have been “eradicated” by the Chinese Communist Party in the past eight years, Forbes reports.
Abortions are legal for any reason up to birth in China.