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Guangdong Population: Why Has Guangdong Become China’s No. 1 Fertility Province?
Guangdong’s birth population has exceeded 1 million for 40 consecutive years. What are the changes in the registered population of these cities with a GDP of trillions?
In 2021, the registered population of some cities in Guangdong has increased significantly. Guangzhou’s registered population increased by 264,200 last year, breaking the 10 million mark for the first time.
Since 2018, the number of births in Guangdong has ranked first in China for four consecutive years.
Why is Guangdong the No. 1 Fertility Province?
According to the “Guangdong Statistical Yearbook 2022” recently released by the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Statistics, Guangdong has had more than 1 million births for at least 40 consecutive years. Judging from the changes in recent years, although the number of births in 2021 has declined compared with 2016 and 2017 after the second child was fully liberalized, the decline is relatively small.
It should be noted that the Statistical Yearbook published the birth population data in Guangdong in 1978, 1980, and since 1982. Judging from the yearbook data, Guangdong has had more than 1 million births for at least 40 consecutive years.
Changes in Guangdong’s birth population (unit: 10,000 people)
Analysis of Guangdong’s birth population data
In terms of fluctuation range, since 1982, the overall fluctuation range of birth population data in Guangdong over the years has been relatively small. For example, from 1986 to 1996, Guangdong’s annual birth population exceeded 1.2 million, with the peak in 1990 reaching 1.4011 million. From 2000 to 2006, it was between 1 million and 1.1 million. Among them, 2002 was the lowest point in the past 40 years. The number of births was 1.0394 million, but it was only 26% lower than that in 1990.
Since 2012, Guangdong’s annual birth population has exceeded 1.1 million. Among them, after the implementation of the comprehensive two-child policy, Guangdong ushered in the birth population peak of nearly 40 years in 2017 – 1.5163 million. Subsequent 2018 and 2019 also reached 1.4398 million and 1.4338 million respectively. In 2020 and 2021, the birth population will continue to decline 22% in 2021 compared with the peak in 2017. However, the decline is relatively small compared to the whole China and other populous provinces during the same period.
Data shows that in 2021, Guangdong’s birth population will be 1.1831 million, making it the only province to exceed the one million mark for two consecutive years. Since becoming the No. 1 birth province in 2018, Guangdong has ranked No. 1 in birth population for four consecutive years.
Reasons for Guangdong becoming a populous province
Professor Dong Yuzheng, a population expert and director of the Guangdong Population Development Research Institute, analyzed that:
- The total resident population of Guangdong has remained the first in the country for many years.
- The total floating population ranks first in the country, and the labor force and the population in the prosperous period of fertility account for a relatively high proportion.
- The willingness and level of fertility are relatively high.
Data from the Chinese seventh national census showed that Guangdong’s out-of-province inflows reached 29.6221 million, an increase of 8.1234 million over 2010, far ahead of the whole China. In addition, due to the relatively loose entry threshold in Guangdong, the number of net immigrants with household registration outside the province is also relatively large. In the past ten years, the net influx of people with foreign household registration in Guangdong Province has reached 3.1202 million.
According to the data of seventh census, the CBN reporter found that the three provinces with the highest proportion of the labor-age population aged 15-59 are Guangdong, Beijing and Zhejiang. Among them, Guangdong was 68.80%, 5.45% higher than the national level.
On the other hand, Shantou and Jieyang in the east of Guangdong and Maoming in the west of Guangdong have a relatively high birth rate, although there are many outflows. Among them, the birth rate in Shantou in eastern Guangdong reached 13.2‰, in Jieyang in the Chaoshan region, 12.86‰, and Zhanjiang in western Guangdong reached 12‰.
Peng Peng, executive chairman of the Guangdong Provincial Economic Reform Research Association, analyzed that:
Like Chaoshan in the east of Guangdong, Zhanjiang in the west of Guangdong and other places, they attract less foreign population. Their population growth is mainly natural growth. The willingness to bear children in these places has also declined in recent years. However, due to the influence of traditional childbearing culture, the willingness to bear children in these places is still relatively high compared to other areas.
Guangzhou's registered population exceeded 10 million, Shenzhen exceeded 6 million
In 2021, the registered population of some cities in Guangdong also increased.
Among them, Shenzhen’s registered population increased by 433,600 last year, and the registered population exceeded 6 million, reaching 6,279,400.
Guangzhou’s registered population increased by 264,200 last year, and the registered population exceeded 10 million for the first time, reaching 10.1153 million.
Judging from the changes in the past 10 years, Guangzhou’s registered population has increased by 1.9695 million in the past ten years, and Shenzhen’s registered population has increased by 3.4857 million. It is worth noting that in the past five years (2017-2021), the proportion of the registered population increased by more than 60%. Among them, Guangzhou’s registered population increased in the past five years accounted for 71.6% of the increase in the past ten years, and Shenzhen’s proportion also reached 65%. While for the other two trillion-GDP cities in the Pearl River Delta, Dongguan accounts for 82.8%, and Foshan accounts for 76.7%.
Changes in the household registration population of the four major cities with a GDP of trillions in Guangdong (unit: 10,000 people)
Last 5 years
Last 10 years
The reasons for the increase in the population of the four major cities in Guangdong with a GDP of trillions
This is also related to the new breakthroughs in the reform of China’s household registration system in these years. In recent years, China’s new-type urbanization has made significant progress, the level and quality of urbanization have been greatly improved, and the threshold for urban settlement has been greatly reduced. Among them, since 2017, second-tier core cities such as Chengdu, Wuhan, Xi’an, Changsha, and Hangzhou have introduced generous talent policies. And the threshold of second-tier core cities has been further relaxed. Guangzhou and Shenzhen, these two first-tier cities, have also greatly relaxed the threshold for settlement.
For example, on the afternoon of January 11, 2019, the Guangzhou Development and Reform Commission, together with the Guangzhou Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, the Guangzhou Municipal Personnel Bureau and the Municipal Public Security Bureau, jointly released a new round of relocation policy system in Guangzhou. It stipulates that those with a bachelor’s degree or above and no more than 40 years old can settle down.
As early as August 2016, the new talent introduction policy issued by Shenzhen relaxed the entry requirements for purely academic talents to junior colleges, for technical talents to technical secondary schools + intermediate titles, and for skilled talents to senior workers who are in urgent need. Those who meet the conditions can apply for household registration without limit on the number of indicators. Although Shenzhen has raised the threshold for settlement in 2021, overall, the threshold for settlement is still relatively loose.
Peng Peng said that there are many employment opportunities in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and other places, attracting a large number of people. On the whole, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are similar to strong second-tier cities such as Hangzhou, with a relatively low threshold for settlement. This is the main reason why there have been more settlements in Shenzhen and Guangzhou in recent years. Although household registration is now less important than it used to be, there are some welfare differences. Therefore, although the resident population in Guangzhou and Shenzhen did not increase much last year, still a lot of the resident population was converted into the registered population.
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