The New York TimesThe New York Times

Why China's shrinking population is a problem for everyone

By Nicole Hong

19 Apr 2023 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

China struggled for years to curtail its rapid population growth, the NYT writes. Now the number of people is actually falling, there could be serious implications for China—and the rest of the world.

Despite the cancellation years ago of China’s harsh, Mao-era restriction on families to a single child, and even after more recent incentives urging families to have more children, China’s population is steadily shrinking — a momentous shift that will soon leave India as the world’s most populous nation and have broad rippling effects both domestically and globally.

The change puts China on the same course of both aging and shrinking as many of its neighbors in Asia, but its path will have outsize effects not just on the regional economy, but on the world at large as well.

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