Demographic development in China – additional information
The annual number of births in China has increased continuously from 2010 to 2016. In 2016, the number of births in China had reached 17.86 million. In tandem with the rising number of births, the birth rate in China has remained largely unchanged. It depicts the total number of births per 1,000 women per year. The last decade saw a slight decline in birth rate from 12.41 in 2003 to 12.08 in 2013.
China was the most populous country in the world as of 2014. Yet the large population brings about severe demographic challenges for the country. The Chinese society is aging rapidly and facing a serious demographic shift towards older age groups. As of 2014, China had ranked among the countries with the highest median age, exceeding Brazil and India. The median age of China’s population had increased massively from about 20 years in 1970 to 34.6 years in 2010 and is projected to rise continuously until 2050. In 2010, approximately 169 million Chinese were 60 years and older, a figure that is forecast to rise as high as 454 million by 2050.
This shift in demographic development will increase social and elderly support expenditure of the society as a whole. One measure for this social imbalance is the age dependency ratio, measuring the relationship between economic dependent age groups and the working-age population. The age dependency ratio in China is expected to soar to 49 percent in 2060, implying that by then two working-age persons will have to support one elderly person. For more information on demographic development in China, take a look at our Statista dossiers on population and aging population in China.