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China’s Demographic Reality and Future [Commentary]


Cai, Yong (2012). China's Demographic Reality and Future [Commentary]. Asian Population Studies, 8(1), 1-3.


China’s 2010 census should conclude a two-decade long debate over China’s fertility level. For 20 years, many, including the Chinese government, suspected that the low fertility observed in the Chinese population data was merely a statistical artefact due to under-reporting. The latest census shows a population age structure1 that is largely consistent with previous censuses and surveys. It confirms that China’s fertility dropped to below the replacement level in the early 1990s, and China’s total fertility rate (TFR) measures at around 1.5 during the first decade of the new millennium (Guo 2011; Zhao & Chen 2011). China’s fertility decline to below the replacement level, following its rapid completion of the demographic transition, marks a tectonic shift in the world demographic history. Such a speedy transition is expected to have profound implications for the Chinese as well as the global economy and society.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Asian Population Studies


Cai, Yong