(Yicai Global) June 30 -- Imposed for almost four decades, China's so-called one-child policy could result in a demographic crisis for the country, with the population falling by nearly one-third by the end of this century, according to experts.
Dr. Huang Wenzheng, a demographer at the University of Wisconsin, claims the population is likely to drop to less than 1 billion by 2100 from nearly 1.4 billion today based on last year's fertility rate of 1.25 children per woman. Even if the birthrate picks up soon, the nation may contract to as few as 600 million people.
Peking University Prof. Li Jianxin has devised forecasts based on several different policy scenarios. He predicts that under the new two-child policy, the population could fall to 952 million by 2100.
Concerned about rapidly increasing numbers of elderly and a decline in the labor force, Beijing has been phasing out the one-child policy since last year to allow eligible couples to have two children.
Writing in the People's Daily, a 'pundit' who is probably a top decision maker, said he still had full confidence in the country's economic prospects and "social employment will generally remain stable in the face of a relatively significant economic downturn."