A Third of Chinese Regions Grew Populations in 2023
Lin Jing
DATE:  Jun 20 2024
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
A Third of Chinese Regions Grew Populations in 2023 A Third of Chinese Regions Grew Populations in 2023

(Yicai) June 20 -- Around a third of China's mainland regions expanded their populations last year despite the nation’s falling birth rate and aging society.

Only 11 of the nation's provincial-level administrative regions added residents, up by 1.6 million people in total, according to the latest official data. Zhejiang and Guangdong made up more than 60 percent of the increase, followed by the expanding regions of Hainan, Shanghai, and Jiangsu.

In eastern China, growth was mainly attributed to net inflows of people coming from less developed regions. But natural growth is also possible as the example of Guizhou shows. The southwestern province had a birth rate of 10.65 babies per thousand residents in 2023, resulting in a natural growth rate of 2.88 new persons per thousand residents.

Guangdong, China's largest economic powerhouse, was the only province to welcome over one million newborns into the world for the fourth straight year last year. Its birth rate reached 8.12 per thousand, ranking among the top provinces, showing the manufacturing hub's strength in attracting migrants and families.

Central China's Henan and the eastern province of Shandong recorded 695,000 and 610,000 new births last year, respectively, ranking second and third nationwide. Sichuan was No. 4 with an addition of 529,000.

Guangdong has the highest permanent population in the country as the region attracts many people who are at the right age to get married and have kids, which is the fundamental reason why the province's birth population leads the nation, Peng Peng, executive president of the local branch of the China Society of Economic Reform, said to Yicai.

Moreover, even though Guangdong's fertility rate is generally declining just like other parts of the country, eastern and western parts of the southern province go against the grain because residents' willingness to have children remains relatively high, influenced by the traditional culture of associating big families with better fortunes, Peng added.

China had a population of 1.4 billion people as of late last year, down over two million from the year before, marking the first decrease since 1962, as the year saw more deaths than new births, according to official data.

Editors: Tang Shihua, Emmi Laine

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Keywords:   Population Statistics,Provincial Regions,Net population Inflow,Population Natural Growth,Economic Analysis