China’s population declined, according to its latest census. Or did it? It depends on who you believe.
The Financial Times first reported last week that China’s population is set to decline for the first time in five decades, falling below 1.4 billion. The article cited people familiar with the outcome of China’s recently completed census, who cautioned that the figure is considered “very sensitive and would not be released until multiple government departments had reached a consensus on the data and its implications.”
However, China’s National Bureau of Statistics quickly refuted reports of a population decline in a one-line statement. The blunt denial, along with the long delay of the census results, is creating more questions than answers.