Population: Fueling (or Stalling) Economic Growth
Updated: Apr 10
Last year, the birthrate in China, the world’s second-largest economy, was the lowest on record. After decades of trying to control the population with a single-child policy, the effects of these laws have finally become real.
For the first time in 60 years, China’s population fell in 2022, with 850,000 fewer births than deaths, according to the country’s official report. The country’s largely unpopularanti-population growth policies have done precisely what the government designed; the birth rate has fallen to 6.77 births per 1,000 people.
But instead of celebrating the success of the country’s arguably inhumane population control measures, China’s leadership has expressed concern over reaching this milestone too soon and is scrambling to figure out how to increase birth rates once again.
The country is the world’s largest, with more than 1.43 billion residents. And if they aren’t careful, their supremacy will be toppled by India. India’s population is 1.38 billion, but with a robust birth rate, this country could easily overtake China within a decade.
China wants to remain the largest country in the world, but why? The larger a country’s population, the greater the burden on social programs and other government-provided assistance. And although communist governments are designed to provide this type of welfare, the answer is less ideological and more capitalistic.
The Economics of Population
Population is one of the driving forces of modern economies. The amount of people within a country determines how many consumers the nation has and how many people are available to produce goods and services. Population is a critical factor for demand and supply, the lifeblood of any economy.