The 3rd China Population and Development Forum was held in Beijing on the 11th . According to a survey presented at the forum , China is currently experiencing the dual changes of population and family, and the trend of low birth rate and family miniaturization is obvious.
At present, the concept of marriage and childbirth of the younger generation is changing, and the trend of family size miniaturization is becoming more and more obvious. In 2020, the average household size in China dropped to 2.62, a decrease of 0.48 compared with 2010. Delayed marriage and childbirth brought about by changes in family concepts have become the most important factor in the decline of China’s fertility level. The age of first marriage of the working-age population has been continuously postponed.
The average age of first marriage for women has continued to rise from 22 in the 1980s to 26.3 in 2020, and the age of first childbearing has been delayed to 27.2. The willingness of women of childbearing age to bear children continues to decline. The average number of children they planned to have in 2021 is 1.64, which is lower than 1.76 in 2017 and 1.73 in 2019. The number of women’s having children dropped from 1.63 in 2019 to 1.19 in 2022. The lifetime childless rate of women is rising rapidly, from 6.1% in 2015 to nearly 10% in 2020.
According to a survey conducted by the China Population and Development Research Center in 2021, less than 70% of women under the age of 35 believe that “life is complete only with children.” Japan, Singapore and other countries have implemented policies to encourage births since the last century, but their birth rates in 2020 are still at extremely low levels of 1.3 and 1.1 respectively.
Given the low level of fertility protection in China, without the guidance of the concept of marriage and childbearing, it will be extremely difficult to improve the level of fertility.