How Much Can We Learn about Future through Seeing History? Population Projections for China since 1980

Baochang Gu, Renmin University of China
Yong Cai, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Partly due to its planning mentality, population projections are widely used in China in devising both population policies and socioeconomic policies. However, the basic demographic assumptions used in population projections for China are often driven by political considerations rather than by good understanding of demographic trends. This paper examines two sets of population projection for China since 1980 -- one from Chinese government and one from the United Nations -- to discuss the challenges and pitfalls on projecting China’s population.

Presented in Session 163: Assumptions and Presumptions of Population Projections in Asia: Case Studies from China, India and Indonesia