At least 6 Chinese provincial-level regions show declining population in 2021
Published: Mar 15, 2022 01:26 AM
People walk to shop at the Chuhehan Street in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province. Photo: Li Hao/GT

People walk to shop at the Chuhehan Street in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province. File Photo: Li Hao/GT

Data released by 16 Chinese provincial-level regions on Monday show that at least six regions have reported a decline in their permanent residents in 2021, including Beijing, provinces in North China and Central China, partly caused by decreasing births.

Based on the data, Beijing, Central China's Henan Province, North China's Hebei Province and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, East China's Jiangxi Province and Northwest China's Gansu Province have seen a decline in the number of permanent residents.

One of the reasons for the decline in population is the fall on births which has been partly caused by delayed marriage and childbearing age in addition to the expanded outflow of population, according to the Jiangxi authorities.

Notably, Henan Province, with a current population of 98.83 million, which is lower than the  99.40 million in 2020, saw 793,000 births in 2021, with a drop on its birth rate to 8 per 1,000 people, according to the Henan local authorities. The number of new babies in the province was below 800,000 for the first time since 1978.

Among the 16 regions which published population data, East China's Zhejiang Province, South China's Guangdong Province and Central China's Hubei Province ranked at the top of population growth. 

In addition, although the data of the three provinces in Northeast China has not yet been released, the general trend in recent years has showed that the migration trend from regions in Northeast, Northwest and Central China to the southeastern coastal areas continues, according to media reports.

The number of newborns in China in 2021 stood at 10.62 million, 1.4 million less than in 2020, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics in January, with the birth rate at 7.52 per 1,000 people. China's population on the mainland has grown to 1.41 billion by the end of 2021, official data showed.