For the first time in 19 years, Beijing witnessed a drop in its population drop in 2022, according to a media report.
Citing official data, the report on Thursday said the Chinese capital’s population of permanent residents fell from 21.88 million in 2021 to 21.84 million in 2022.
Meanwhile, the number of migrants in Beijing also dipped in the same period.
The last time Beijing saw more deaths than births was 2003, when the fatal severe respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak emerged in southern China and ultimately infected more than 8,000 people around the world.
The data revealed that 2022’s drop is a relatively small one, with the population’s natural growth rate dipping to -0.05 per thousand residents.
Meanwhile, China’s national population also shrank last year for the first time since the great famine in 1961.
The report says that there are a combination of factors behind the drop — the far-reaching consequences of the one-child policy China introduced in the 1980s (but has since abandoned); changing attitudes toward marriage and family among Chinese youth; entrenched gender inequality and the challenges of raising children in China’s expensive cities. IANS