Chinese growth on slower trackChina | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE Jan 22, 2019
China's population grew at a slower rate last year despite the abolition of the one-child policy, raising fears an aging society will pile further pressure on a slowing economy. There were 15.2 million live births in 2018, a drop of two million from the year before, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. With 9.93 million deaths, this led to a growth rate of 3.81 per thousand in 2018 - a dip from 5.32 per thousand the previous year. NBS commissioner Ning Jize said growth had peaked but there was still huge potential. "China's labor participation rate is not considered low worldwide," he noted. "More than 700 million of our 900 million people [of working age] are employed." Signs of a falling population growth emerged when data from local authorities indicated a significant drop in births last year. Still, the population rose by 5.3 million in 2018 to 1.395 billion. China for decades limited most families to one child in a bid to control population growth. This was relaxed in 2016 with couples allowed two children.