f total births in 2019, at least 59.5 percent were second-born children, 9.5 percent higher than in 2018, according to Yu Xuejun, deputy director of China’s National Health Commission.
Yu said at a health reform press conference held on October 28 that China saw 146.5 million newborns in 2019 with the gender ratio of male to female births dropping from 113.5 males for every 100 females in 2015 to 110.14 males to 100 females in 2019.
Even though more families are choosing to have a second child or more, there were nearly one million fewer newborns in 2019 than in 2018. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s birthrate in 2019 was 10.48 per thousand, the lowest since 1949 when the People’s Republic of China was founded.
Analysts attributed the declining birthrate to a decreasing number of women of childbearing age due to the previous strict birth control polices and younger people’s reluctance to marry and have children due to mounting economic pressure. Many experts suggested the government lift all birth restrictions and launch policies to encourage families to have children.