The number of people in China of working age is expected to have shrunk slightly to 958 million by 2030, the Family Planning Association (FPA) announced Wednesday.
Wang Pei’an, vice president of the FPA, said the country had 1.003 billion people of working age in 2015, which will gradually decline to 958 million in 2030 and 827 million in 2050.
“Though China still has a healthy labor force at this moment, the decreasing number of women of childbearing age means we should not wait any longer to fully implement the two-child policy,” Wang said.
There were 826 million people of working age in Western developed countries in 2015, thus, while boasting a huge population, China’s overall labor productivity is just one eighth that of the developed countries, said Wang.
The FPA will improve its family planning services, such as reproductive health consultation, Wang said.
Wang added that the FPA will also pay special attention to protecting the rights and interests of the nation’s migrant population, and will provide health services to “left-behind” women and children in rural areas.
Since Jan. 1, all married couples have been allowed to have two children. This follows an earlier easing of the policy in 2013 allowing couples to have a second child if either parent was an only child.
The latest change ended the “one child” policy that had been in place since the late 1970s.