International Forecaster Weekly

China Two Child Policy and the Population Crunch

China is not alone in its prospect of facing a demographic winter scenario of an aging (and eventually shrinking) population. In fact, the latest world population data shows that a majority of the nations on the planet now have a total fertility rate below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per couple...

James Corbett | November 7, 2015

Last week readers of this column were advised to "pay attention to the shisanwu" (China's latest five year plan) if they "wanna know what China's gonna do." Well it didn't take long for that advice to bear fruit.

    At the close of the Central Committee meeting last Thursday the Communist Party officially announced that the country's infamous one-child policy would be coming to an end, with the benevolent communist overlords now "allowing" their serfs to have two children per couple. Subsequent reports clarified that the new two-child policy would kick in in March, after the plan is formally ratified by the party's rubber stamp National Congress.

    The change is not altogether unexpected. In fact, the one-child policy has been eased over the years to allow a second child when both spouses are only-children, and a second easing allowed a second child if either spouse is an only-child. A socially disastrous epidemic of sex-selective abortion and infanticide has also prompted the party to allow rural couples to have a second child if their first child is a girl. But still, China faces a range of social and economic crises as a result of a demographic tsunami whose first waves are already hitting the country's shores. This includes:

  • A declining working age (15-64 year old) population, with the country losing 11 million in this category in the next five years alone (equivalent to the population of Greece).
  • A boom in those 65+, with seniors making up a full 25% of the population by 2050.

The highest median age in the Asia-Pacific, currently at 37.3 and expected to rise to 40 in the next 10 years.

    The irony is that, contrary to the propaganda of the central planners who want the people to believe that they control all aspects of their citizens' lives by mere say-so, it wasn't the one-child policy that started the ball rolling toward this demographic crunch in the first place and the two-child policy won't do much to stop it.

    In fact, the data shows that the birth rate in China, cresting at just over 6 children per woman in the early 1960s, had already started plummeting by the time the one-child policy was introduced in 1979. Remarkably, the fertility rate actually increased in the 1980s, after the introduction of the one-child policy, before dipping below 2 children per women in the 1990s. Although there are expected to be several million more babies born over the next decade as a result of the two-child policy, the jump in births is expected to increase most sharply over the next three years and then decline steadily after that. In other words, the two-child policy will only have a marginal effect on the birth rate and will certainly not avert the demographic crisis that is approaching in China.

    And crisis it is. The Chinese housing market, driven by 25 to 49 year olds, is now in terminal decline as that demographic reached its peak this year. Given that the property market accounts for much of the country's economic growth in recent years, it's likely that Beijing will try even more outlandish social experiments (like the largest migration in human history or the creation of more empty ghost cities or the further expansion of the dangerously overblown shadow banking credit bubble). And as the situation becomes dire, with a dwindling population of workers supporting a balooning generation of retirees, the world's second largest economy could implode in a disastrous way.

    China is not alone in its prospect of facing a "demographic winter" scenario of an aging (and eventually shrinking) population. In fact, the latest world population data shows that a majority of the nations on the planet now have a total fertility rate below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per couple, and only one (Niger) has had an increase in fertility rate since 1970. With the latest projections showing that population growth has stabilized and will decline throughout the century, country after country is going to start facing the prospect of a dying population.

    First on the chopping block: Japan. With the world's highest proportion of senior citizens (33% over 60 years of age) and longest life expectancy (84) combined with one of the lowest fertility rates in the world (1.4 children per couple) Japan is bracing for the demographic crunch. Early signs of that crunch (adult diapers outselling baby diapers, for instance, or the death rate crossing the birth rate in 2007) have given way to the inevitable: a dying country that will eventually have no children at all if demographic trends were to continue uninterrupted.

    As these trends accelerate in country after country, the world population is expected to level out and begin declining for the first time in history by the end of the century. It seems that the neo-Malthusians have not only been wrong about every prediction of resource depletion they have made in the past 200 years, they were also flawed in their assumption that population would continue to grow in an exponential fashion if left "unchecked."

    While there are many, many factors that play into these trends, and there is no doubt that rising standards of living lead are correlated to declining fertility rates, there are other, more ominous factors discernible in the statistics as well.

    Since the 1950s a growing body of scientific literature has documented a steady decline in sperm count of men in certain geographic areas, most notably in parts of Europe and North America. Although there is still vigorous debate over the cause and nature of this decline in semen quality, endocrine disrupting chemicals such as phthalates that have been proven to disrupt sperm production in fish are being looked to as a potential cause of the ongoing drop in sperm count. The bad news is that the potentially offending chemicals are to be found in a bewildering array of modern products, from sunscreen and cosmetics to shower curtains, frying pans, and even cheese.

    Given the fact that the globalist elite have openly mused time and time and time again about culling the population in one form or other, and given that they have engaged in involuntary sterilization and population reduction programs over the decades and even mused about the effectiveness of surreptitiously adding sterilizing agents to the water supply, the sudden decline in sperm count has to be seen as the potential fulfillment of a long-held desire for mass depopulation and the potential thin edge of the wedge of an underpopulation crisis.

    For those interested in further exploring this topic, The Corbett Report has released a podcast on The Underpopulation Crisis.

Running Time: 59:35

Description:We’ve deconstructed the overpopulation myth, but now it’s time to take a look at the grim reality: a demographic winter of an aging, dying population. Global fertility declines as eugenicists rejoice…and today we learn how to confront them.

    Meanwhile, China, for its part, seeks to counteract its own demographic crisis by the will of its central planners and the force of its dictatorial government. Although they are unlikely to be successful, there will no doubt be other countries in the region and around the world who will be beginning their own social experiments in the coming years to try to reverse these demographic trends.