By The Numbers: A Complete Look At China's Gargantuan Population

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The world’s most populous nation is in the middle of a massive demographic change.Its one-child policy, aimed at controlling population growth, has sparked a whole set of problems.

First, it has a rapidly ageing population which is causing its labour-pool to shrink. The U.N. projects that the share of people over 60 will rise from 12.3% in 2010, to 17.4% in 2030.

Second, the one-child policy has also exacerbated the preference for a male child, skewing the sex ratio in favour of males.

These demographic problems could eventually become a drain on resources and the country’s health and pension systems, ultimately impacting GDP growth. The skewed sex ratio could spark an array of social tensions. We drew on a Nomura report and data from the U.N. to look at the ongoing change in China’s population.

China's population will peak in 2025

Population in 2010: 1.34 billion

Population in 2015: 1.37 billion

Population in 2030: 1.39 billion

Source: Nomura

The median age just keeps rising

Median age 2010: 34.5 years

Median age 2015: 36.2 years

Median age 2030: 42.5 years

Source: Nomura

And its working age population is actually shrinking!

Working age population in 2010: 971 million

Working age population in 2015: 996 million

Working age population in 2030: 960 million

Source: Nomura


The percentage of young people is dropping sharply

Youth population as per cent of total in 2010: 16.8%

Youth population as per cent of total in 2015: 14.6%

Youth population as per cent of total in 2030: 11.4%

Source: Nomura

And its elderly population (65+) as a per cent of the total will increase from 10.2% in 2000 to 24.4% in 2030

Elderly population as per cent of total in 2010: 12.3%

Elderly population as per cent of total in 2015: 15.1%

Elderly population as per cent of total in 2030: 24.4%

Source: Nomura

The old age dependency ratio will surge from 10.4% in 2000 to 23.9% in 2030

Old age dependency ratio 2010: 11.3%

Old age dependency ratio 2015: 13.0%

Old age dependency ratio 2030: 23.9%

Note: The ratio of the number of people over the age of 65, and those in the labour force (i.e. aged 15 years - 64 years) expressed as a per cent.

Source: Nomura

Meanwhile the ratio of children dependent of the working population will fall from 37.7% in 2000 to 21.2% in 2030

Child dependency ratio 2010: 26.9%

Child dependency ratio 2015: 24.5%

Child dependency ratio 2030: 21.2%

Note: The ratio of the number of children between the ages of 0 - 14 years, to those in the labour force (i.e. aged 15 years - 64 years) expressed as a per cent.

Source: Nomura

After falling to 37.5% in 2015, from 48.1% in 2000, total dependency ratio will climb back up to 45.1%

Total dependency ratio 2010: 38.2%

Total dependency ratio 2015: 37.5%

Total dependency ratio 2030: 45.1%

Note: The ratio of the number of children between the ages of 0 - 14 years and the number of people over the age of 65, to those in the labour force (i.e. aged 15 years - 64 years) expressed as a per cent.

Source: Nomura

The rates of child birth per woman will continue to remain below 2000 levels

Fertility rate 2010: 1.64

Fertility rate 2015: 1.56

Fertility rate 2030: 1.58

Note: This measures child births per woman

Source: Nomura

The number of daughters per woman will tick up slightly to 0.72 per woman but below 2000 levels of 0.78

Net reproduction rate 2010: 0.71

Net reproduction rate 2015: 0.69

Net reproduction rate 2030: 0.72

Note: This measures the number of daughters per woman

Source: Nomura

The number of males per 100 females will fall from 108 in 2010, to 107.1 in 2030

Population sex ratio 2010: 108.0

Population sex ratio 2015: 108.0

Population sex ratio 2030: 107.1

Note: This measures the number of males per 100 females

Source: Nomura

And the number of male births per one female will continually decline to 2030

Sex ratio at birth 2010: 1.20

Sex ratio at birth 2015: 1.18

Sex ratio at birth 2030: 1.14

Note: This measures the number of male births per one female

Source: Nomura

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