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China’s Population Policy and Population Structure and its Future Development Trend (Special Issue, No.38, 2018)


By Li Jianwei & Zhou Lingling, Research Institute for Public Administration and Human Resources, DRC

Research Report, Special Issue, No.38, 2018 (Total 1605) 2018-10-10

Abstract: Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the population policy has witnessed four major adjustments, from encouraging birth, to restricting birth, to controlling birth, and to today’s encouraging birth. Corresponding to the population policy adjustments, China’s population structure underwent the continuous increasing of working-age population from 1953 to 2008, generating huge demographic dividend, but began to show sub-replacement fertility and aging phenomena. The total dependency ratio of the population began to pick up in 2011, and the aging degree and total dependency ratio of population in rural areas and underdeveloped areas in the central and western regions were significantly higher than those in urban and developed areas in eastern China. In the future, China’s population size will reach its peak in around 2023. The issue of population aging, sub-replacement fertility, decrease of working-age population and the rural hollowing-out will become more serious. Changes in the population structure will bring challenges in many aspects. It is necessary for the government to adopt multiple policies and measures to encourage fertility, improve the quality of population, extend the retirement age, improve the social security mechanism, formulate and implement plans for rural revitalization, so as to enhance the sustainability of economic and social development while maintaining a balanced demographic change.

Key words: population policy, population structure, evolution features, development trend