Jan 17, 2020 - World

China's birth rate hits six-decade low

the square of Beijing railway station

The square of Beijing railway station. Photo: Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

China's birth rate is the lowest since 1961, with 14.6 million babies born in 2019, signaling struggles for families in a country with an underdeveloped social safety net, the National Bureau of Statistics said Friday, per AP.

The big picture: It's the country's third year in a row for falling birth rates, with factors like more financial freedom for women entering the workforce and Chinese couples' changing attitudes toward children with rising living costs, the New York Times reports.

By the numbers: China's also struggling with a rising population of 60 and older, with about 18% making up the total population.

  • In contrast, the working age population decreased by 890,000.
  • In total, the Chinese mainland reached 1.40005 billion people at the end of 2019, with an overall gain of 4.67 million people.

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