Home > China, Education > Population Trends Matter: End of Cheap China, II

Population Trends Matter: End of Cheap China, II

China would likely have moved up the value chain anyway, but demographic changes seal the deal.

Between 2010 and 2050 China’s workforce will shrink as a share of the population by 11 percentage points, from 72% to 61%—a huge contraction, even allowing for the fact that the workforce share is exceptionally large now….The shift spells the end of China as the world’s factory. The apparently endless stream of cheap labour is starting to run dry.

Shanghai now may have the “lowest [fertility] level anywhere in the world.”

The China I grew up knowing–with an ever higher student population in ruthless competition for a few prize spots at universities–will soon be a thing of the past. About half of all Chinese students old enough to take the university entrance exam will do so this year, and almost 3/4ths will get into an institution of higher learning.

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Categories: China, Education

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