In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, we are joined by Philip O’Keefe to discuss China’s changing demographic composition and challenges the country might face as a result. He explains that China’s falling population and low birth rates are the result of decades of population control measures, including the one-child policy. Mr. O’Keefe describes that, despite the rollback of these kinds of policies and new government incentives to have children, China’s birth rate remains low due to the high cost of child rearing in the country and economic development. Looking forward, Mr. O’Keefe discusses the role that automation might play in alleviating some demographic pressures and mounting health and economic challenges China will face as its population shrinks and ages.
Significant demographic shifts present China with mounting social challenges, including a reduced workforce for supporting its critical industries, a pronounced gender imbalance, and insufficient senior care.