Communist China, the world’s second-largest economy, is facing a demographic crisis. With a decline in birth rates and an aging workforce, the country is facing economic and social challenges. The 2020 census showed that China’s population grew at the slowest pace in the last decade since the 1950s. The slowdown in population growth will likely worsen as a recent survey revealed that young urban women don’t want to get married.
The survey was conducted by a wing of the Communist Youth League. Forty-four percent of young urban women and 25 percent of men say that they have no plans for marriage. Many do not believe in falling in love either. In the survey, 2,905 unmarried youths between the ages of 18 and 26 took the poll.
When questioned about their “willingness to fall in love,” 12.8 percent chose “not willing to fall in love”; 26.3 percent said, “not sure”; 8.9 percent said they “will not get married”; 25 percent said they were “not sure” about getting married. In total, thirty-four percent do not consider marriage a necessity. Nearly 30 percent of the youths said that they have never been in love.
When asked for reasons why they do not wish to get married, 60.8 percent stated that “it is difficult to find the right person.” Another 34.5 percent said they “feel that they do not have the time and energy to get married.”
The economic burden of raising children and the financial cost of marriage were other reasons cited by respondents for not tying the knot. The portrayal of unhealthy relationships in media and personal negative experiences led 30.5 percent of the youngsters to say that they “do not believe in marriage.”
Results of the survey do not bode well for communist China since it wants to boost birth rates. In May 2021, communist China launched a new three-child policy, removing the ban on having more than two children per couple.
The withdrawal of the two-child rule was the second time in five years that China made a marked change to its population control guidelines. Back in 2016, the Chinese government reversed its one-child policy. It had started in 1979 to restrain the country’s fast-growing population.
The three-child policy was adopted after it came to light that the country had seen the slowest population growth since the 50s. Between 2010 and 2020, communist China’s population only grew by an average of 0.53 percent per annum. That’s down from a 0.57 percent growth from 2000-2010.
However, it is likely that the three-child policy will not produce the desired effect. Youngsters now follow a “9-9-6” lifestyle where they work 12 hours a day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week. Combined with the increasing cost of raising children, many people are not keen to start families. Plus, young urban couples, specifically those born after 1990, tend to value their careers and independence more than raising a family.