#19 Why do fewer Chinese people want babies? 为什么越来越少中国人想要小孩了?

Podcast Transcript

大家好,欢迎回来MaoMi Chinese!今天是MaoMi Chinese的第十九期——为什么越来越少中国人想要小孩了?






Hi everyone. Welcome back to MaoMi Chinese! Today is episode 19th – Why there are fewer and fewer Chinese people who want to have a baby?

Listeners who read Chinese news might know that on 12th May this year, China released the report of its 7th national census. The census found that there are only 12 million newborn babies and it’s 2.65 million less than 2019. Why are there fewer and fewer Chinese people who want to have a baby? I think it’s because of these 3 reasons.

The first reason is that young Chinese people are under so much pressure. I have spoken about 996 work schedule (working from 9am to 9pm 6 days a week). To be honest, this is really an evil work schedule. Just as my friend said, the 996 work schedule makes people feel that life is no better than death. We have 24 hours a day. We should work for 8 hours, rest for 8 hours and leave 8 hours for ourselves. However, the 996 work schedule forced people to work over 12 hours a day and over 6 days a week. So how can people be happy? How can we have good mental health? How can we have the energy to date, get married to have babies and look after them? Therefore, I think that if they would like to encourage young people to have babies, they have to change the 996 work schedule.

The second reason is that the price of housing is too high and it’s too expensive to buy a house/property in China. Although now many young Chinese people are working very hard and often working overtime, their salary is not much more. About 20 years ago, young people could buy a house by working for about 10 years, but now, it probably takes 100 years. For too many young Chinese people, this is too stressful. In Chinese traditions, a house is a very important thing. If we can’t even afford to buy a house and don’t have our home, how would we be able to happily get married and have babies?

The third reason, which I think is very important, is that in China, men and women are still not equal. Lots of women struggle to get a decent job after they give birth. In addition, many men still think that women should do the housework and should take care of babies. Before and after their wives’ delivery, they don’t show that they care. I am also a woman and if I had to marry a man like that and give birth to a baby, I would rather be single and not have babies for my whole life. How exhausting is that! For sure we all hope that our lives can be happier and easier.

In the future will the Chinese population keep getting smaller? Maybe it will. This is a reality that is hard to change. But I still hope that every Chinese youngster doesn’t have to follow the 996 work schedule anymore, and they can afford to buy a house. Also, every Chinese woman will be respected.

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