New data this week showed birthrates in the country continued to plummet, with 10.04 million births registered in 2020, a 15 percent drop from the year before, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
While not the official birthrate, the latest figure was a third lower than the number of births recorded in 2019 — already the country’s lowest since the early 1960s when China was in the middle of a famine. Yet, residents were not surprised by the data.
“A baby boom? You’ve got to be kidding me. Who would have a kid now? Raising a kid is asking for death,” one commentator wrote on the microblog Weibo. “When you have no income, who would dare make another life?” another said, referring to the economic strain many felt as the country ground to a halt.