Beijing, China’s capital city, has experienced its first population decline since 2003, according to the latest government data. The decline is due to a combination of factors, including an aging population, strict immigration policies, and high living costs.
The National Bureau of Statistics released data showing that Beijing’s permanent population decreased by 0.8% in 2021, dropping to 21.4 million. This marks the first time the city’s population has declined since 2003. The number of registered residents, which includes those with permanent residency permits, also decreased by 0.5% to 18.9 million.
One major contributing factor to the decline is an aging population. According to the statistics, the proportion of Beijing’s population aged 60 or over reached 18.1% in 2021, up from 17.1% in 2020. The high cost of living in Beijing has also deterred young people from moving to the city, despite its status as a cultural and economic hub.
In addition, Beijing’s strict immigration policies have made it difficult for foreigners to obtain permanent residency permits or even temporary visas. This has limited the influx of new residents into the city.
The decline in Beijing’s population could have economic implications for the city and the country as a whole. Beijing has been one of China’s fastest-growing cities in recent years, with a booming tech industry and a growing middle class. A shrinking population could lead to a decline in consumer spending and slower economic growth.
The government has taken steps to address the issue, including offering incentives for young people to move to Beijing and relaxing some of the strict immigration policies. However, it remains to be seen if these measures will be enough to reverse the population decline.
Some experts believe that the decline in Beijing’s population could be a trend that spreads to other Chinese cities, particularly as the country’s overall population ages and the cost of living continues to rise. This could have far-reaching implications for China’s economy and society.