China’s population growth is rapidly decelerating. It rose by 0.48% to 1,347.4mn in 2011, significantly slower than the pace of 0.76% in 2000 and 1.45% in 1990.
The birth rate dropped to 1.19% in 2011 from 2.11% in 1990 and 1.40% in 2000.
China’s current birth rate is similar to those of developed countries (1.1% in 2005-2010) but much lower compared to other less developed countries (2.5%).
TFR is the average number of children born to each woman over the course of her life. By international standard, a TFR of 2.1 is required to keep a stable population. In 2005-2010, TFR was 2.52 globally, 1.66 for developed countries and 3.03 for less developing countries excluding China, according to the UN.
The 2010 census suggests that China’s TFR has dropped to a suprisingly low 1.18 in 2010, down further from 1.33 in 2005 and 1.22 in 2000.
This is much lower than many developed countries, such as the US (2.07), the UK (1.83) and France (1.97), but similar to some other countries struggling to deal with a low fertility rate, such as Japan (1.31), Korea (1.29) and Germany (1.36). In sum, China’s TFR has stayed significantly lower than the replacement level of 2.1 for more than two decades, and we believe it is likely to drop further as GDP per capita grows.
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