Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggests that China could soon be facing a “population collapse” in the aftermath of Beijing’s decades-long population control program that until recently had restricted most families in China to a single offspring.
“Most people still think China has a one-child policy,” he wrote in a June 6 tweet that was pinned to the top of his Twitter account.
“China had its lowest birthdate ever last year, despite having a three-child policy! At current birth rates, China will lose ~40% of people every generation!” he wrote, before adding the grim note: “Population collapse.”
The one-child policy was instituted by the Chinese Communist Party between 1980 and 2015 in a bid to curb a population growth rate that the regime considered too rapid and facilitate economic growth. Violators of the limit were fined, forced to go through abortions or sterilizations, and could potentially lose their jobs.
Until its official abolishment in 2016, the policy had caused some 400 million abortions, accounting for about 28 percent of the nation’s 1.4 billion people, according to official statistics. It also led to child abandonment and infanticide of baby girls due to traditional social preferences for a son.
The decades-long policy has precipitated a demographic crisis in China, marked by a rapidly aging population and falling birth rates. Faced with a looming economic crisis from its dwindling workforce, the Chinese regime allowed two children for couples in 2016 and then increased the limit to three in 2021, as well as providing benefits on childcare, income tax, and housing to support growing families.
But those measures have done little to convince couples to have more children.
China’s birth rate has been falling for five consecutive years. In 2021, about 7.52 babies were born for every 1,000 people, the lowest level since the regime’s takeover of China in 1949. By contrast, the birth rate for the United States in 2021 was 12 per 1,000 people.
By Eva Fu