/China touts ‘quality’ workforce as India becomes world’s most populous country

China touts ‘quality’ workforce as India becomes world’s most populous country

China on Wednesday tried to downplay India by surpassing it as the world’s most populous nation with 142.86 million people, saying it still has a “quality” workforce of about 900 million people to provide a strong boost for the development.

According to the latest data from the United Nations Population Fund, India overtook China to become the world’s most populous nation with 142.86 million people. China, which has a population of 142.57 crore, has now become the second most populous country, the UN world population dashboard showed.

Asked for his reaction to the report, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a press briefing here that “in assessing a country’s demographic dividend, we must look not only at the size but also at the quality of its population”.

“Size matters, but what matters most is the talent resource. Nearly 900 million of the 1.4 billion Chinese are of working age and have received 10.9 years of education on average,” she said.

For those just entering the workforce, the average length of education rose to 14 years, he said.

On population aging, he said China has implemented a national strategy to respond to population aging, including a third-child policy and support measures to address demographic changes.

“China’s population exceeds 1.4 billion. Those of working age are close to 900 million and that population group has 10.5 years of education on average,” she said.

Wang said that China has taken active measures to deal with its aging population.

“As Premier Li Qiang pointed out, China’s demographic dividend has not disappeared and our talent dividend is in the works. The driving force of China’s development remains strong,” he said.

According to a new UNFPA report, 25% of India’s population is in the 0-14 age group, 18% in the 10-19 age group, 26% in the 10 to 24 years old, 68% % in the 15 to 64 age group, and 7% in those over 65 years of age.

In March, Premier Li Qiang, while addressing the media after taking office, said: “In assessing the demographic dividend, we must not only look at the size of the population, but also at the scale of the workforce. of high caliber”. Commenting on China’s worsening demographic crisis due to falling birth rates and rising elderly population, Li said China has nearly 900 million people of working age and 15 million people are joining the labor force. annually, he noted.

More than 240 million people have received higher education in China and the average length of education received by newcomers to the labor force has risen to 14 years, he said.

China’s demographic crisis deepened in 2022 when its population entered a negative phase with the birth rate declining by 8.50 lakh people to 1411.8 billion.

China’s overall population decreased by 850,000 people year on year to 1,411.8 billion in 2022, putting the natural growth rate at 0.6 per 1,000 negative people, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said. acronym in English) in January of this year.

According to the National Health Commission, there were 264 million people over the age of 60 in mainland China at the end of 2020, and that total is projected to rise to 400 million and account for more than 30 percent of China’s population by 2035.

China’s population crisis has been largely attributed to decades of one-China policy implemented by the ruling Communist Party of China (CCP) to control the population.

China’s concern today is not simply a declining population, accentuated by the decades-old baby scrapped in 2016, but a rapidly aging population. Under the revised policy, Chinese people could have three children.

China implemented a third child policy in May 2021 and launched a series of stimulus measures to boost population growth. Several cities, provinces and regions across the country have implemented incentive policies, such as granting subsidies to families with a second or third child.

According to the NBS announcement, the country registered around 9.56 million newborns last year, up from 10.62 million in 2021.

China’s birth rate stood at 6.77 births per 1,000 people in 2022, up from 7.52 in 2021.

China’s total population size peaked in 2022, much earlier than expected, meaning the country’s population will maintain negative growth from 2023 or enter an era of negative growth, Cai Fang said earlier. , former deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Yuan Xin, a professor at Nankai University’s Institute of Population and Development, School of Economics, told official media in January that negative population growth in 2022 is the inevitable result of the country’s long-term low fertility rate. , and China’s population has entered an era of zero growth.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)