【英语中国】专家:中国保持人口稳定有难度

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所属分类:双语中国

2013-11-22 08:49

小艾摘要: Even if one assumes that women in China today are willing to have two children, two out of every 10 mothers would have to have three offspring each just to keep the population level by the middle of t ...
Even if one assumes that women in China today are willing to have two children, two out of every 10 mothers would have to have three offspring each just to keep the population level by the middle of this century, according to an analysis of UN data.

China’s “missing girls” make it much harder for the country to keep its population stable, according to Carl Haub, demographer at the Washington-based Population Reference Bureau. In recent decades, China has produced 80 baby girls for every 100 baby boys.

Population growth in China is a concern for policy makers because the working-age population peaked in 2012, so the country faces having fewer workers available to support a growing army of the elderly.

That peak has come at an earlier stage than in neighbouring economies, lending weight to the opinion of some observers that “China will become old before it gets rich”.

Demographers consider that to keep populations from falling, each woman, on average, must produce 2.06 babies, or an average of one daughter each.

While males slightly outnumber females at birth everywhere, they are more likely to die in infancy.

But women in China would need to produce 2.2 children each to keep population level.

That is because the gender imbalance is among the highest in the world, with 1.17 boys for every girl, a level that demographers have warned could lead to social unrest in years to come.

Even China’s neighbours such as South Korea and Japan, which have fertility rates of 1.23 and 1.34 per woman, do not need as high a birth rate to hold the population level.

Indeed, recent data from China’s census suggest it is having fewer children than suggested by UN statistics, which show a birth rate of 1.6 children per woman over the course of her child-bearing years. But China’s own census puts the rate as of 2010 at 1.08, almost the world’s lowest.

The calculation of the number of births needed to stop population from falling is derived from the UN Population Division’s “instant-replacement calculation”, which takes account not only of the rate of births but also maternal deaths.

对联合国数据的一项分析显示,即使人们假设现在的中国女性愿意生两个孩子,那么为了到本世纪中叶维持人口水平,20%的母亲必须生育三个孩子。

华盛顿美国人口资料局(Population Reference Bureau)的人口统计学家卡尔?豪布(Carl Haub)指出,“女孩缺失”使中国维持人口稳定的难度大得多。最近几十年,中国的男女出生比例为100:80。

政策制定者担忧中国人口增长状况,因为劳动年龄人口已在2012年见顶,因此整个国家面临着越来越少的工龄人口支撑越来越多老龄人口的局面。

这一峰值来得比邻国更早,进一步证实了一些观察家所称的“中国将未富先老”。

人口统计学家认为,为了维持人口稳定,平均每个女性需要生育2.06个孩子,或者是平均每个女性要生育一个女孩。

虽然世界各地男性出生比例都高于女性,但男婴的死亡率也高于女婴。

但在中国,女性需要生育2.2个孩子才能维持人口水平。

这是因为中国是世界上性别失衡最严重的国家之一,男女出生比例达到1.17:1,人口统计学家警告,这可能在未来导致社会不安定。

就连中国的邻国韩国和日本(人口出生率分别为每名女性1.23和1.34)也不需要如此之高的出生率来维持人口稳定。

的确,中国近年的人口普查数据显示,中国人口出生率要低于联合国的统计数据,联合国数据显示中国育龄女性平均生育1.6个孩子,但中国自身的人口普查数据表明,截止2010年中国出生率为1.08,几乎为世界最低值。

避免人口下降所需要的出生率的计算,来源于联合国人口司(UN Population Division)的“即时替换计算”,不仅包含出生率,也包含孕产妇死亡率。

译者/王慧玲

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