China’s birthrate dropped despite allowing 2-child families

Despite government hopes, studies have predicted the loosening of China’s one-child policy would bring only a relatively small increase in population growth. (AP)
Updated 19 January 2018
0

China’s birthrate dropped despite allowing 2-child families

BEIJING: The birthrate in China fell last year despite the country easing its family planning policies and allowing all couples to have two children.
There were 17.2 million births in the country last year, down from 17.9 million in 2016, the National Bureau of Statistics reported Thursday.
China changed its long-standing one-child policy in 2015 in hopes of reversing the trend toward an aging population. The number of births rose nearly 8 percent in 2016, with nearly half of the babies born to couples who already had a child.
That increase appears to have been a one-off however, with couple’s decisions to not have a second child affected by the trend toward later marriage, the desire for smaller families and concerns about the high cost of raising children.
Despite government hopes, studies have predicted the loosening of the one-child policy would bring only a relatively small increase in population growth. Those have been accompanied by recommendations that the country increase its retirement age to address an expected labor shortage and declining economic growth.
With almost 1.4 billion people, China currently has the world’s largest population. It is expected to peak at 1.45 billion in 2029.
China enacted its one-child policy in 1979, enforced with fines and in some cases state-mandated abortions. But it now faces a rapidly aging workforce and the prospect of not having enough younger workers to support its elderly.


‘World’s oldest man’ dies in Japan at 113

Updated 20 January 2019
0

‘World’s oldest man’ dies in Japan at 113

  • Mazako Nonaka was born in July 1905, according to Guinness World Records — just months before Albert Einstein published his special theory of relativity
  • Japan has one of the world’s highest life expectancies

TOKYO: “World’s oldest man” Masazo Nonaka, who was born just two years after the Wright brothers launched humanity’s first powered flight, died on Sunday aged 113, Japanese media said.
Nonaka was born in July 1905, according to Guinness World Records — just months before Albert Einstein published his special theory of relativity.
Guinness officially recognized Nonaka as the oldest living man after the death of Spaniard Francisco Nunez Olivera last year.
“We feel shocked at the loss of this big figure. He was as usual yesterday and passed away without causing our family any fuss at all,” his granddaughter Yuko told Kyodo News.
Nonaka had six brothers and one sister, marrying in 1931 and fathering five children.
He ran a hot spring inn in his hometown and in retirement enjoyed watching sumo wrestling on TV and eating sweets, according to local media.
Japan has one of the world’s highest life expectancies and was home to several people recognized as among the oldest humans to have ever lived.
They include Jiroemon Kimura, the longest-living man on record, who died soon after his 116th birthday in June 2013.
The oldest verified person ever — Jeanne Louise Calment of France — died in 1997 at the age of 122, according to Guinness.