Beijing’s population fell for first time in 2017

Beijing, Dec 11 (IANS) The population of Beijing, the Chinese capital with over 21 million residents, fell for the first time in 2017, despite the introduction of the two-child policy, according to state media on Tuesday.

Beijing’s Population Development and Study Report said that the city’s population was 21.7 million, 22,000 less than in 2016, the same year the two-child policy was introduced, Efe news quoted the People’s Daily newspaper as saying.

The number of migrants living in Beijing fell to 132,000, while the number of registered residents fell by 37,000.

That decline, coupled with a lower birth rate in Beijing indicated “a 22,000 decrease year-on-year”.

Demographer He Yafu attributed the drop in migrant numbers to the city’s plans to cap its population at 23 million by 2020.

He added that the two-child policy had not affected the birth rate in Beijing or in other cities because of the “high cost of raising children”.

“Even if Beijing starts to encourage births, the low birth rate would not improve much. Thus, to ease the severe aging problem, the Chinese capital should relax its restrictions on hukou, or household registration, to attract more talent and migrants,” the expert said.

The report added that the capital’s population was aging rapidly, with the number of residents aged 65 and over increasing from 1.7 million in 2010 to 2.4 million in 2017.

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