This chart shows the number of people in China (mainland and Hong
Kong) by selected age groups.
The number of young adults of reproductive age (20 - 50) will reach its
maximum of more than 660 million around 2010. This explains why the period between
1995 and 2025 (shaded light blue) is the most critical for the
country's future population growth. Only if average fertility remains low among this large
cohort, will it be possible to stabilize the number of births. Otherwise, the large number
of parents will produce another baby boom in China.
In this most recent medium variant UN projection (the 1998 Revision) it was assumed
that the average Total Fertility Rate (TFR) increases only slightly from 1.8
children per women in 1995 to 1.9 children in 2010 and then remains at that level. In
other words, fertility in China is estimated to remain below replacement level
for the next 50 years.
United Nations Population Division (to be published): World Population Prospects. The 1998
Revision. New York (Data on Diskettes)