What China’s shrinking population means for the future

There is one resource China has always had enough of – people. The population graph always used to go up, but that stopped in 2022 and it’s projected to go down in future decades. A smaller – and older – population will result in fewer workers. This endangers China’s status as the world’s manufacturer of cheap goods – and the economic prosperity that comes with it. China has offered tax incentives and financial support for couples deciding to have more than one child – but researchers don’t think policy changes like this will halt the decline in population. They say China appears doomed to struggle with the same demographic challenge facing many countries in the global north.