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The Impact of Urbanization and Delayed Childbearing on Population Growth and Aging in China

Zeng Yi and James W. Vaupel
Population and Development Review
Vol. 15, No. 3 (Sep., 1989), pp. 425-445
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/1972441
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1972441
Page Count: 21
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The Impact of Urbanization and Delayed Childbearing on Population Growth and Aging in China
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Abstract

Urbanization and delayed childbearing in China are likely to reduce future national birth rates and significantly slow population growth for two reasons. First, urban residents are apt to continue to have substantially lower fertility rates than rural residents. In addition, urbanites tend to give birth at older ages and may be more receptive to government efforts to further delay childbearing. These relationships are examined using a multi-regional population projection model that incorporates three scenarios regarding rural-to-urban migration and cohort mean age of childbearing. The results show that rapid urbanization accompanied by a gradual increase in the mean age of childbearing may avert about 300 million births over the period 1987 to 2050. In addition to affecting total population size, which may be about 260 million persons smaller in 2050 than would be the case in the absence of urbanization and delayed childbearing, this reduction in number of births may increase the proportion of the population that is elderly. In particular, the projections suggest that more than a quarter of the remaining rural population in 2050 may be aged 65 or older.

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