The recent population data released by the National Bureau of Statistics has once again added to the publics concern about the decline in Chinas fertility rate. In 2018, Chinas birth population was 15.23 million, about 2 million fewer than the previous year, the second consecutive year after the liberalization of the two-child policy. The birth rate is 10.94, which is far below the stage high of 12.95 in 2016. If compared with the historical high of 23.33 in 1980s, it is even less than half. 10.94, which also hit a 40-year low since 1978.
There are many reasons for the low fertility rate, such as the change of fertility concept caused by the continuous development of economy and society, the delay of childbearing age caused by the improvement of education level, and the high housing prices, high foster and training fees. Among them, the long-term imbalance of sex ratio between men and women has an important impact on the decline of fertility.
For a long time, due to the influence of the idea of preference for boys over girls, the number of female infants born in our country has always been lower than that of male infants born, thus resulting in the imbalance of the sex ratio at birth between men and women. Since the beginning of the strict family planning policy in the 1980s, the familys gender choice for their children has been further intensified. A few families even resort to illegal abortion and other extreme means in order to obtain boys.
Since 1982, Chinas sex ratio at birth has rapidly broken through the internationally recognized 107 (100 women) warning line, and then soared. Since 1994, the sex ratio at birth has always been above 115. Whatever means are used, it can not prevent the sex ratio at birth from going up all the way, reaching its peak of 121.2 in 2004.
Since then, the use of a variety of means of governance, after this, the sex ratio at birth has increased and declined. By 2006, it dropped to 119.25, and by 2008, it rose to 120.56. Since then, Chinas sex ratio at birth began to decline slowly, but up to now, it still maintained a high level of more than 110.
According to the National Planning for the Development of Family Planning in the 13th Five-Year Plan issued by the former National Health and Family Planning Commission, the total fertility rate of the whole country will be raised to about 1.8 by 2020, while the sex ratio of the birth population will be reduced to less than 112. At present, about 20 countries and regions in the world have high sex ratio at birth, but China is the most serious country with the highest sex ratio at birth and the longest duration. So far, it has been more than 30 years, and the number of families affected is the largest.
The unbalanced sex ratio at birth has resulted in a large number of males outnumbering females in China. In 2018, the total population of China was 713.51 million males and 681.87 million females, with males exceeding 316.44 million females. Thats why the Internet fears that China will have more than 30 million bachelors. Although the sex ratio of the total population is only 104.64, the population born since the 1980s is at the peak of fertility, which is exactly the most serious imbalance in this group.
Taking the Post-00 generation as an example, according to the 2010 census of the National Bureau of Statistics, the total population of Post-00 generation in China is about 146 million. There are nearly 13 million more males than females, and about 1.3 million more boys than girls at each age. Among them, the proportion of males and females born in 2000 was about 118.23, with 7.83 million boys and 6.62 million girls. There were 1.21 million more males than females. The imbalance of sex ratio directly affects the number of marriages.
Data show that the number of marriages registered in China in 2013 was 134.69 million pairs, which decreased continuously for the next four years, to 10.631 million pairs in 2017, a decline of 2.838 million pairs compared with 2013. And for some time to come, the marriage rate may continue to decline.
The imbalance of sex ratio, the decrease of marriage number and the decrease of fertility rate are the internal logic of the rapid decline of population growth in China and the possibility of negative growth in the near future. Therefore, correcting the sex ratio of the birth population as soon as possible is of great positive significance in alleviating and curbing the decline of the birth rate.
In order to change this phenomenon as soon as possible, besides eliminating the influence of the traditional idea that men are more important than women, it is more important to continuously improve womens economic and social status, eliminate womens employment discrimination, create a good gender equality environment, and severely crack down on illegal fetal sex identification activities. Only in this way can the imbalance of gender ratio be gradually eliminated and the pattern of healthy and stable population development be formed as soon as possible.
Source of this article: Author of New Beijing News: Li Changan Responsible Editor: Li Wan_B11284