China has a monster miss on its future national and economic plan. Instead of having 20 million babies born in 2018, the babies born will only be 14 or 15 million.
The failure of China’s two baby policy will hit home in a few weeks when the 2018 baby birth statistics are officially released. Official statistics will show the number of children born last year was the lowest since 2000. The final figure could fall below 15 million and will be more than two million fewer than in 2017.
Baby Policy Failure
China shutdown the Family Planning Commission in 2018. The new National Health Commission will take over responsibility for population management from the National Health and Family Planning Commission.
The family planning authority’s had previously estimated there would be up to 20 million births in 2018. Currently, the 2018 births are expected to be 14 or 15 million.
The 2017 numbers extended through 2050 would have already meant China’s workforce would shrink by about 20% by 2050. The 2018 numbers trended through 2050 would have already meant China’s workforce would shrink by about 30% by 2050.
$100 to $500 Billion Per Year Mobilization to Boost Babies
A 30% decline in China’s workforce would be like $4.5 trillion today and would be about $10-20 trillion in 2050.
If China matches Denmark’s levels of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) by 2030, then China would have about 2 million IVF births per year. China had more than 40 million patients with fertility problems in 2016, according to statistics from China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission. China will probably surpass Denmark IVF percentages and reach 20% IVF babies. China could race to Denmark levels by 2023 with a massive increase in spending.
China will lift all birth restrictions and provide government support for IVF. This could boost China’s birthrate by 10-40 million each decade starting in 2030. There will likely be a 4-7 million population boost through the 2020s in China from IVF.
The number of working age people in China is set to fall to 700 million by 2050 – a decline of nearly a quarter. This number was before adjustments based on the new 2018 baby bust number. The working-age population has been in decline since 2012, with the number of people aged 16-59 predicted to be 830 million in 2030. Maintaining China’s workforce in 2050 would require adding 150 million more than the expected 50 million from the two-child policy.
A massive IVF boost could offset the workforce decline by 25-40 million in 2050s and then help a workforce recovery from 2060 onwards.
Europe and Japan Pro-Birth Have Been Effective But too Timid
Europe and Japan have shown that massive welfare programs for state-funded child support and state-funded bribes to couples who have babies are needed to increase the birth rate. There will need to be coverage of all fertility treatments, freezing of eggs and in-vitro fertilization.
Ren Zeping, chief economist at property developer Evergrande Group, wrote that China has a demographic crisis as the second-child policy relaxation has failed to the boost fertility rate.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics stopped publishing fertility data in 2016.
“China must immediately lift birth controls and encourage people to have babies,” Ren wrote.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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