Cervantes

Hoy es el día más hermoso de nuestra vida, querido Sancho; los obstáculos más grandes, nuestras propias indecisiones; nuestro enemigo más fuerte, el miedo al poderoso y a nosotros mismos; la cosa más fácil, equivocarnos; la más destructiva, la mentira y el egoísmo; la peor derrota, el desaliento; los defectos más peligrosos, la soberbia y el rencor; las sensaciones más gratas, la buena conciencia, el esfuerzo para ser mejores sin ser perfectos, y sobretodo, la disposición para hacer el bien y combatir la injusticia dondequiera que esté.

MIGUEL DE CERVANTES
Don Quijote de la Mancha.

29 de octubre de 2015

These Charts Explain Why China Scrapped Its One-Child Policy

Declining birth rate threatened economic growth

China to Allow Two Children for All Couples: Xinhua
China is finally facing up to its demographic time-bomb, announcing Thursday that it will scrap the one-child policy first instituted in the late 1970s and allow all couples to have two kids.
Originally envisioned as a way to prevent the nation's population from outstripping resources, the policy instead became something that threatened the nation's growth in the coming decades, and leaders partially loosened the rule in 2013.
Here are charts showing statistics and projections that may have pushed Communist Party leaders toward the change as they met in Beijing this week to hash out an economic framework for the next five years.

Declining birth rate

The number of babies has plummeted as a result of the policy and other changes in China, to 12.1 per 1,000 people in 2013, from a post-reform peak of 23.3 in 1987. That's below the U.S. rate of about 13, Malaysia's 18 and Vietnam's 16, according to the World Bank. The birth rate in Japan, whose demographic problems are well known, is eight per 1,000 people.

Shrinking pool of workers

The declining birth rate means that the nation will have a smaller and smaller population from which to draw workers. That can hold back economic growth and drive up wages too quickly, leading companies to move factories to lower-cost nations in Asia and elsewhere. The number of people ages 15 to 64 declined in 2014 for the first time in at least two decades, a drop of about 1.6 million, or 0.2 percent, to 1.004 billion.

Aging population

The demographic shift means an ever-growing proportion of the population will be older, limiting the size of the workforce, boosting health-care costs and putting bigger burdens on younger people to support them. The United Nations projects that the number of Chinese age 60 and older will more than double in the next 25 years to 431 million. In 2050, that group's share of the population will be 36.5 percent, up from 15.2 percent in 2015, the UN estimates.

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