China is a major influence on the Queensland economy given the large value of our coal exports, so we should be paying close attention to how China’s poor demographics will affect its future economic growth. China’s unbalanced population, with lots of old people and not enough young people, is largely due to the persistent impact of the One Child Policy which was once in place. But it now appears that, increasingly, Chinese women are freely choosing to have only one child and hence China’s future demographic profile may be even worse than currently projected. Yesterday, the Financial Times article China’s falling birth rate threatens economic growth (pay-walled) reported:
Fewer than one in four women of child-bearing age in Shanghai is willing to have a second baby, exposing another threat to a Chinese economy that is already growing at its slowest pace in 29 years.
China’s demographic challenge, and the fact it will lose its title as the most populous country in the world to India this decade (Figure 1), was discussed in my Global Population Growth Economics Explained episode published earlier this year.
On the rising importance of India and opportunities for Australian businesses, check out this post from last September on my business website written by my Adept Economics research assistant Ben Scott and me: