Industries in Danger of Being Dragged Down Due to Low Birth Rates
In a kindergarten in the township in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province is witnessing the fall of the birth rate in China. Just five years ago there were 40 children per class, now there are around 30 children per class and 20 in a class for 4 year old children while 10 for a class for 3 year olds. This shows evidence that is backed by statistics that by the end of the year there are 225 million Chinese that are 14 years old or younger or 16.5 percent to the total population.
This is slightly down from 2011 as the country’s sixth national census reported a ratio of 16.6 percent a number that was considerable les than in 2000, which was 22.89 percent. Based on a global consensus a country with a 15 to 18 percent of the population at 14 years or younger is considered a severe low birth rate society. this figures triggered a debate in China, meanwhile academic experts Liang Jianzhang and Mu Guangzong of Peking University with Yi Fuxian of Wisconsin University argued that the family planning policy should be stopped as soon as possible. They say that the government must roll out a population revival scheme that will help avoid China falling in the low birth rate trap.
The government should handout nursing subsidies to couples that have more than one child, other benefits should include longer maternity leave and easier access to education and health services. The aging population is already having an impact in the industries are the labor force is continuing to contract the working population of 15 to 59 year olds down to 0.6 percent. Even with the number of migrant workers was static for the first nine months of this year from 1.9 percent growth in 2014 and 2.4 percent growth in 2013. Shortage in the workforce is already been felt in key industrial cities in the Chinese coast and in the eastern city of Zhangjiagan home to the largest privately owned steel mills, migrant workers and their families makes up more than 40 percent of the population.
Nationally the scenario is grim, China’s total fertility rate fell to 1.4 percent well below the 2.1 minimum that is required to replace the aging population. If this trend continues, the population will shrink by 36 percent. A lot of regions even face lower birth rates, Shanghai has the lowest TFR of 0.86 in the last decade and the sixth census found that the northeastern region has a rate barely above 1. Last year the government allowed couples to have a second child if either of the parent is a single child in the family and around 11 million couples were eligible to have a second child, but only 1.45 million nationwide applied for permission.