published : 2023-08-24

Chinese Authorities Advocating 'Sweet Love' and 'Good Fertility' Amidst Declining Population Crisis

Against the backdrop of dwindling population and fertility rates, China turns to creative measures

A snapshot capturing the scenic beauty of Xian, with its residents engaged in daily activities - reflective of the subtle changes ironically playing a part in the huge demographic shift taking place. (Taken with Nikon D850)

In an unconventional approach towards tackling its population crisis, leaders in the Chinese town of Xian send out a heartfelt message; promoting 'sweet love, marriage and childbirth'.

Delivered via a text message by the city's family planning authorities, the message wished residents 'good fertility' ahead of the country's Valentine's Day celebrated on the 22nd of August.

The well-wishing text was soon shared on the Weibo page of China Newsweek, which further emphasized that marriage and childbearing should ideally be considered at the 'right age'.

'Continue the blood of China and share the important task of rejuvenation', echoed the shared post.

An image illustrating the contrasting moods of a busy local railway station in Beijing, where a couple bids farewell before their respective Spring Festival visits. This image encapsulates the deeply rooted societal structures and their impact on the population crisis. (Taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV)

This initiative comes amidst growing concerns over China's declining fertility rates coupled with an aging population, experiencing its first overall drop in six decades.

Reports suggest that by 2050, China's population could see a dip from the current 1.426 billion to approximately 1.313 billion, with projected further reductions to under 800 million by the end of the century.

Furthermore, current statistics show China's fertility rate at a low of 1.18 children per woman, significantly below the 'replacement' rate of 2.1 children per woman, ushering in an imminent crisis.

The ongoing situation persists in spite of China's strategic changes relaxing its restrictive one-child policy initiated in 1980, to a two-child policy in 2016, and finally allowing families to have three children in 2021.

A heartfelt portrait of a teacher with a group of young students in a classroom in Zaozhuang, singing to celebrate the founding day of the Communist Party of China, signifying hope and potential solutions to the looming population crisis. (Taken with Sony α7R IV)

Challenges, not limited to and including the soaring costs of child-raising and hindrances towards career progression are cited by women as potent deterrents from considering motherhood.

Additionally, cultural factors such as the societal pressure to be married before having children also play a part in the declining fertility rates, particularly in regions that legally restrict single mothers. Albeit, some areas like the Sichuan province, have adopted more inclusive rules recently hoping to boost fertility.