Top Asian News 4:50 a.m. GMT

China records 1st population fall in decades as births drop

BEIJING (AP) — China has announced its first population decline in decades as what has been the world's most populous nation ages and its birthrate plunges. The National Bureau of Statistics reported Tuesday that the country had 850,000 fewer people at the end of 2022 than the previous year. The tally includes only the population of mainland China, excluding Hong Kong and Macao as well as foreign residents. That left a total of 1.41 billion people, with 9.56 million births against 10.41 million deaths, the bureau said at a briefing on Tuesday. Men outnumbered women by 722.06 million to 689.69 million, a result of the strict one-child policy that only officially ended in 2016 and a traditional preference for male offspring to carry on the family name.