China’s working-age population actually declined in 2012, a trend that concerns the government and that could have a serious longer-term impact on the world’s second largest economy, according to the Financial Times.
China’s population aged 15 to 59 was estimated at 937.27 million at the end of December — a drop of 3.45 million from 2011.
Ma Jiantang, head of China’s National Bureau of Statistics, called the drop “worrying.”
While the decline was less than 1 percent, it reversed a long history of growth, thus is being treated as profound for the nation, the Times reported.
“In 2012 for the first time we saw a drop in the population of people of working age. … We should pay great attention to this fact,” Ma said.