Despite its strict birth policy, where a couple could have only one child, China underestimated the number of children born between 2000 and 2010 and its official data was wrong. The Government reported that there are more than 11.6 million boys who were not known to exist until now.
This data was known from the most recent statistical yearbook published by the Government of the Asian country. Thus, the true number of children born during that period of years is 172.5 million. A figure higher than the 160.9 million in that age group registered in the 2010 census.
One of the main reasons why this happened, according to the specialists, is that the parents, in order not to comply with the “only child” policy, opted for do not register newborns. In this way, there were more births during those years than were considered.
This began to change in 2016. In that year, China allowed all couples can have a second child. Prior to this, it was common for parents to hide their son or daughter from the State, but that only lasted until the minor reached the age of six, the age at which he should be enrolled in school, according to the independent demographer He Yafu.
In that sense, approximately 57% of later registered boys were girls, which indicates that the discrepancy could be related in part to the fact that the parents did not register the girls in order to continue trying to have a boy.
Likewise, the last census, carried out in 2010, took place on November 1 of that year, so in addition would not have included births in the last two months of the year. Similarly, some experts on the subject indicated that census surveys do not usually include people who died or emigrated in the intervening years.
For their part, the reviews that were carried out ended up showing how difficult it is to accurately count the number of people in the most populous country in the world.
Birth rates for the years 2011 to 2017 were also revised up in the latest statistical yearbook. Something that suggests to the Chinese government that the problem of underestimating the number of children continued even after the 2010 census.
However, the government considers that in the future there would be fewer discrepancies on this issue, especially as it began to effectively abandon the limits on the size of families. In fact, currently the limit for most families is set at three children, but the State determined that there will be no penalty for exceeding it. In addition, the number of births is expected to continue to decline, as reflected in the 2020 census, and the total population may begin to decline as of this year.