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The PRC will actively respond to the decline in population growth, Li Qiang said.

The PRC will actively respond to the decline in population growth, Li Qiang said.

China will study in detail the social problems caused by the decline in population growth and actively respond to them, Premier Li Qiang said on Monday.

“We will continue in-depth research on a number of social problems caused by population decline, and actively respond to these problems,” Li Qiang said at a press conference following the results of the first session of the 14th National People’s Congress (NPC).

The premier noted that there is now concern in Chinese society about the reduction in population growth, as well as the fact that the demographic dividend may disappear.

“I’m afraid that everything is not so simple here. When we talk about the demographic dividend, we need to look not so much at the quantity, but at the quality of the population and the number of highly qualified personnel,” Li Qiang said.

There are now almost 900 million working-age people in China, he said, and more importantly, the number of people who have completed higher education has exceeded 240 million, and the average number of years of new labor force formation has increased to 14 years.

According to the latest data from the State Bureau of Statistics of the PRC, in 2022 the population of the country decreased for the first time in 60 years and reached 1,411,750,000 people. Amid a record low birth rate in 2022, the population of mainland China decreased by 850,000 compared to the end of 2021. Last year, 9.56 million people were born, the birth rate per 1,000 people was 6.77, 10.41 million people died, and the death rate per 1,000 people was 7.37.

The working-age population from 16 to 59 years at the end of 2022 amounted to 875.56 million people, i.e. 62% of the total population, people aged 60 and over – 280.04 million people, i.e. 19.8% of the entire population.

In the summer of 2021, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress approved the adoption of amendments to the law on population and planned births, which at the legislative level allowed families to have a third child and canceled all previously provided fines and payments.

The first session of the 14th National People’s Congress (NPC) ended on Monday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The annual session, which opened on March 5, was attended by about 3,000 delegates from all over the country. Over the past week, the delegates heard and approved a number of documents defining the country’s development plan for the coming year, and also elected the country’s leadership, including the President of the People’s Republic of China, the new Premier of the State Council and the Minister of Defense.