Easing Fertility Restrictions in China is having an impact and further easing likely to boost population by 15% by 2050

Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) has a projection of the world economy with breakouts for each country in purchasing power parity terms and by market exchange rate in 2050.

PWC uses United Nation population projections. The medium UN population projections assume no easing in China’s fertility policy. Fertility policy easing is already happening and will be completely lifted in a few years.

The PWC model projects that China’s share of world GDP in PPP terms will increase from 16.5% in 2014 to a peak of around 20% in 2030 before declining to around 19.5% in 2050. India’s share of world GDP in PPP terms could increase steadily from just under 7% in 2014 to around 13.5% in 2050. Our model suggests that India could overtake the EU and the US in terms of share of world GDP in PPP terms by 2044 and 2049 respectively. Given the rise of India and China, our model suggests that the US and the EU’s share of world GDP in PPP terms will face a steady decline from around 33% in 2014 to only around 25% by 2050.

Joseph Chamie is a former director of the United Nations Population Division wrote in Yale Global Online. Estimates by Chinese officials and some scholars, however, suggest the relaxation in policy may lead to an increase of up to 2 million births per year, possibly a 10 percent increase – increasing China’s fertility rate from the current 1.6 births per woman to about 1.8 births per woman. With such a rise in fertility, the medium variant, China’s population would peak at 1.45 billion in 2030 and then decline to around 1 billion by the century’s close. Again, the population would continue aging, the elderly accounting for one-quarter of the population by 2050, and the potential support ratio falling to 2.6 working-age persons per retiree. If China decided to further relax to a “two-child policy,” the number of additional births might reach 5 million annually, with the fertility rate perhaps rising to replacement level. Under the instant replacement scenario, China’s future population does not decline, but stabilizes around 1.6 billion by mid-century. The Chinese population, however, would still age, with the proportion elderly increasing to a fifth and the potential support ratio falling to three working-age persons per retiree.

If China ended the one-child policy altogether, future fertility could, although improbable, exceed the replacement level. For example, if Chinese fertility increased to a quarter-child above replacement, the high variant, China’s population by the close of the century would be nearly 1.8 billion. China’s population would not attain stabilization, but would continue growing at about 0.5 percent per year, an annual addition of 8 million Chinese.

So far about half the top end effect from Easing Fertility Controls

China is expecting at least one million more births in 2015 than last year, as a result of policy changes. A total of 16.9 million new citizens came into the world in 2014, 470,000 more than in 2013, said the China Population Association (CPA) two weeks ago.

As of the end of 2014, around one million couples had applied to have a second child.

Zhai Zhenwu, head of the CPA, said many families are at the preparing stage and the number of newborns is expected to increase noticeably in 2015.

As the birth policy may continue to be eased, the baby boom may last for five to eight years, said Zhai, adding that more efforts will be made in the public service sector to meet the challenge.

After the change (plus a complete lifting of any restriction children before 2018 and a shift to incentiving babies before 2022), I estimate

2020: 1.43 billion
2030: 1.53 billion
2040: 1.6 billion
2050: 1.65 billion

Here is an analysis of China’s population based on changes in total fertility combined with improved life expectancy.