Shanghai's permanent resident population decreases by 130,000 in 2022, reasons for not having children revealed
Published: Mar 29, 2023 11:44 PM
Lujiazui, a financial zone in Shanghai Photo: VCG

Lujiazui, a financial zone in Shanghai Photo: VCG

The permanent residents in Shanghai in 2022 decreased by nearly 135,400 compared to 2021, and about 41 percent of residents are not willing to have a child (another child) due to their satisfaction with the current situation in the survey, according to a sample survey on population changes in 2022 released by Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday. 

The permanent residents in Shanghai reached 24.75 million in 2022, compared with 24.89 million in 2021. Experts noted on Wednesday that the decrease of natural population growth rate, the increase of aging population and the decrease of permanent migrant residents are the main reasons, and the relevant data may provide reference for the authorities to formulate supporting policies in the next step.

The relevant information of the reasons for not having a child (or another child) and ideal number of children was published for the first time in the statistical report, according to media reports.

Among the permanent residents in Shanghai, the main reason for not planning to have a child (or another child) is "satisfied with the current situation", and the proportion accounts for 41.8 percent, ranking the first place, according to the statistical report. 

We need to have a comprehensive and systematic analysis over the data, and it is hard to judge the reasons behind not having a child (or another child) separately, as the situations and appeals of different groups of people are diverse, Wu Ruijun, a professor of demography and president assistant of East China Normal University in Shanghai told the Global Times on Wednesday.

For instance, it's hard to judge the reasons if the person who chooses this option - "satisfied with the current situation" - has child or not currently, so that the situations of the groups of people are different, Wu explained.  

The reasons for not having a child (or another child) are complex and comprehensive such as increasing raising cost, first childbirth experience, less benefits of childbirth for families and impact on work, said Wu. 
Wu herself as a political advisor also submitted a suggestion on improving the fertility support policy system of marriage, fertility, parenting and education integration during this year’s Two Sessions in March.

Based on the statistical report, 58.5 percent of permanent residents in Shanghai wish to have one child, while 36.7 percent of them hope to have two. 

The reason for not having another child due to “high cost of raising and heavy financial burden” reaches 28.5 percent, while the reason of “age or physical conditions” accounts for 13 percent, followed by other reasons such as “no one taking care of their children”, “concerns of the impact on work or personal development,” and “wishes to live easier and freer.”

The survey found that a shortage of appropriate public services for school admission and comments from other family members account for a small proportion. 

The proportion of the population who have one child reached 73.8 percent among the household registered residents in Shanghai, while the rate of those who have two children stood at 24.34 percent, and those with multiple children reaching 1.86 percent in 2022, according to the data released by the Shanghai municipal health commission in February this year. 

To encourage birth rates, Shanghai, along with other cities across the country, has implemented various policies covering sectors such as insurance, housing, education, employment, and tax deductions. 

Currently, there are 1,309 child-care facilities in Shanghai, offering 58,000 seats, and 1,708 kindergartens with 534,000 children being taken care of by the end of 2022, according to the Shanghai education authorities. The city has also been exploring "Baby House," a community-based daycare model, to benefit families with children under 3 years old.