China’s population has fallen for the first time in 60 years, with the national birth rate hitting a record low – 6.77 births per 1,000 women, the BBC reports.
The population in 2022 – 1.4118 billion – fell by 850,000 from 2021.
China’s birth rate has been declining for years, prompting a slew of policies to slow the trend.
But seven years after scrapping the one-child policy, it has entered what one official described as an “era of negative population growth.”
The birth rate in 2022 was also down from 7.52 in 2021, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, which released the figures on Tuesday.
Deaths also outnumbered births for the first time last year – China logged its highest death rate since 1976 – 7.37 deaths per 1,000 people, up from 7.18 the previous year.