January 26, 2010

THERE'S A REASON THEY BUY FUTURES IN AMERICA:

China’s Family Planning Goes Awry (Nicholas Eberstadt, December 4, 2009, Far Eastern Economic Review)

By the lights of planners in Beijing, this program has been a glorious success. On the eve of the One Child Policy in 1978, China's total fertility rate (TFR) was on the order of three births per woman per lifetime; well above the replacement level of 2.1. There is some uncertainty about China's fertility levels today—not least because of the incentives to conceal births—but there is no doubt that childbearing nationwide is now far below the replacement level, and has been for around two decades. Both the United Nations and the U.S. Census Bureau estimate China's current tfr at about 1.7 to 1.8; some put it at 1.6 or even lower. In China's largest metropolitan areas, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, women today may be averaging less than one birth per lifetime. [...]

Over the 1980-2005 generation, China's working-age population—defined here as the 15- to 64-year-old group—grew by about 2% per annum. Yet over the coming generation, China's prospective manpower growth rate is zero. By the "medium variant" projections of the United Nations Population Division (UNPD), the 15- to 64-year-old group will be roughly 25 million persons smaller in 2035 than it is today, and by 2035 it would be dropping at a tempo of about 0.7% per year. In fact, by the U.S. Census Bureau's reckonings, China's conventionally defined manpower will peak by 2016 and will thereafter commence an accelerating decline. Though these forecasts concern events far in the future, they are more than mere conjecture; virtually everyone who will be part of China's 15- to 64-year-old-group in the year 2024 is alive today. If current childbearing trajectories continue, by the UNPD's reckoning, each new generation will be at least 20% smaller than the one before it.

These numbers alone would augur ill for the continuation of rapid economic growth in China, but the situation is even more unfavorable when one considers the shifts in the composition of China's working-age population.


Their money flows here because we're a good investment and they aren't.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 26, 2010 6:41 AM
blog comments powered by Disqus
« A BILLION VIEWERS...: | Main | THEY EVEN DITCHED THE ONLY MORAL CASE THEY HAD...: »