According to the National Bureau of Statistics, in 2019, the Chinese economy grew at its lowest rate since 1990 and many experts believe that this can be attributed to the decreasing birth rates in China. Although the 6.1% growth in China’s GDP is decent, especially for a country in the emerging market, it is nothing compared to the impressive growth that China has maintained over the past two decades (Yu). Although it may simply be a coincidence, this decrease in economic growth has also occurred during a time period where only one out of four Chinese women will have more than one baby. The reason why experts believe that the decreasing birth rate is affecting the economic growth is that China has historically relied on a large and young labor force to work in the factories and other professions.
Perhaps this decreasing birth rate can be attributed to the One Child Policy that China adopted in 1979. This policy was enacted by Chinese leader, Deng Xiaoping, in hopes that it would curb some of rapid population growth that China was experiencing at the time (Connett). In late 70’s and early 80’s, China’s infrastructure could simply not handle the enormous amount of population growth that the country was experiencing. Although this inhumane policy did slow the population growth in China significantly, it also led to so many more problems including creating a large gender imbalance. Although this policy was formally ended in 2015, many parents are still choosing to have only one child. The One Child Policy left behind a new culture of small Chinese families and it is now hurting the future of the Chinese economy.