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Chinese births hit lowest level in 58 years

Government says population topped 1.4bn in 2019 but social security risks loom

The Chinese government has abolished its long-standing one-child policy and now allows two children per couple. 

BEIJING -- The population of mainland China surpassed 1.4 billion in 2019, but the country also recorded its fewest births in 58 years, government data released on Friday shows.

The number of births came to 14.65 million, down by 580,000 and marking the third straight annual decline. The figure is the lowest since 1961, when the Great Leap Forward policy resulted in millions of people starving to death.

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