China recorded its lowest birth rate in 40 years last year, according to Chinese media, with only 15.23 million babies being born, two million less than the previous year. The birth rate stood at 10.94%, the lowest since 1978.
People in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Liaoning were the most reluctant to give birth, with the birth rate at 8.24%, 7.2%, 6.67% and 6.39% respectively. Hainan, Qinghai, Guangxi had the highest birth rate at 14.48%, 14.31% and 14.12%.
Guangdong, despite being the country’s richest province, stayed well above the national average, at 12.79%. It surpassed traditionally well-populated provinces such as Henan (11.72%) and Sichuan (11.05%) as well as economic rival Jiangsu (9.32%).
Local media believe the key to Guangdong’s relatively high birth rate is its demographics. Many young people have flooded in from other parts of China in recent years, giving the province not only the lowest aging rate in China, but also increasing its birth rate. Moreover, the east Guangdong area, represented by Chaozhou and Shantou, has “relatively well maintained the family tradition of procreation”, according to the report.
Guangdong also has the largest pool of pension funds in China.
Read more here (in Chinese).