China expects a relatively steady population growth for the near future despite dropping new births, according to a statistics official.
New births are predicted to continue to drop each year for some time in the future but still outnumber deaths, and China has a large pool of about 100 million women of childbearing age, Li Xiru, head of the population and employment statistics department with the National Bureau of Statistics, wrote in an article.
This file photo shows children from Xiheshui Village kindergarten in Yicheng County, Shanxi Province on November 9, 2011. (File Photo: VCG)
Population in the mainland totaled 1.39 billion by the end of last year, up 5.3 million people and 3.81 thousandths year on year, while new births reached 15.23 million in 2018, with the birth rate dipping to 10.94 thousandths.
Li attributed the slowdown in population and new births growth to fewer women of childbearing age and dipping second child birth rates.
China decided in 2015 to allow couples to have two children in a bid to boost new births and deal with a greying population.
The country is aging further with the share of people at and above 60 years old in the total population rising by 0.6 percentage points last year.
China's total employed population dropped for the first time in history in 2018 and is likely to fall further in the next few years, according to Li.
However, China has a workforce pool of about 900 million people, with some 780 million of them in employment, with big room for improving labor force participation rate and workforce quality, Li added.