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Population issues, especially youth population issues, are major social issues concerning the future. This paper analyzes the scale and structural change characteristics of China’s youth population aged 14-35 from 1953 to 2020 based on the data of successive censuses. The paper concludes that the size and proportion of youth in China has been increasing and then decreasing in the past censuses, and the decreasing trend will be maintained in the future.
The authors found that in terms of gender structure, the youth sex ratio in China has increased rapidly in recent years after returning to normal levels in 2000, and is still in an imbalance. In terms of regions respectively, China’s youth population is urbanizing fast and the level of youth urbanization is always higher than the total population. And due to the implementation of family planning policy and the rapid acceleration of social transformation in China, the top aging occurs simultaneously with the bottom aging, causing the rapid aging of population age structure, and the transformation of quantitative pressure to structural pressure becomes the main contradiction of the current population development in China.
The authors argue that the changes in the youth population structure have laid three risks for future population security: (1) the decline in the size of the youth population and its share, intertwined with the low willingness to marry and raise children, has laid hidden dangers for future population security, which will inevitably affect China’s global competitiveness; (2) the ease of population mobility is accompanied by the “war for people” in various cities, and youth (3) the high youth sex ratio has led to a serious marriage squeeze among rural men, and the large number of unmarried rural men is not conducive to individual youth development and social stability.
This article was originally published in China Youth Studies, No. 7, 2022, and was originally titled “Changes in the Size and Structure of China’s Youth Population: An Analysis Based on Data from Successive Population Censuses”. This article represents the author’s own views and is for your reference.
Changes in the size and structure of China’s youth population
-Analysis based on data from previous censuses
A reasonable youth population size, quality and structure are the basic conditions for the existence and development of society, as well as the key factors for youth development and social operation. At present, China has entered a new demographic normal in which the fertility rate continues to decline, population aging is rapidly intensifying, urbanization is accelerating, and population mobility is intensifying, and youth, as an important part of the population, has significant intergenerational and interregional differences in size and structure. Understanding the current situation of the scale and structure of the youth population, grasping the characteristics of the youth population changes, and mapping the plight of the youth population is the foundation of the Party’s youth work, and an important prerequisite for the implementation of the Medium- and Long-term Youth Development Plan (2016-2025) in the 14th Five-Year Plan period. To this end, this paper systematically studies the scale and structural changes of China’s youth population (aged 14-35) and the risks involved, based on data from previous censuses and supplemented by relevant data from the United Nations World Population Prospects Report 2019, and puts forward targeted recommendations in the light of the specific requirements of the Party’s youth work in the new era.
1. The size of the youth population rises and then falls, and the change in the birth population is the main reason for the change in the size of the youth population in China
In terms of population size, as shown in Figure 1, the size of China’s youth population was only 196 million at the first census in 1953, after which the size of the youth population rose rapidly to reach a peak of 491 million at the fifth census in 2000 and then began to show a downward trend, developing to the point where China’s youth population had fallen to 401 million by the seventh census in 2020 (except for active youth military The number is 399 million in addition to the active youth military). Births, deaths, and migration are the three major factors causing population change, and births and deaths are the main causes of youth population change in China because of the low international migration behavior in China. After the founding of New China, the overall stability of China’s social environment and the rapid development of public health have led to a significant decline in mortality rates during the growth of youth, especially infant and child mortality, and fewer youth population changes due to death. Therefore, the declining size of the birth population since the 1980s has become the main reason for the continuous decline in the size and proportion of the youth population in China. Since the early 1980s, China has been implementing the “one child per couple” fertility policy, and the “two children alone” policy was introduced in 2013, a long period of one-child policy. In 1980, China’s total fertility rate was 2.63, which fell below the replacement level (2.02) in 1992 and reached 1.30 by the seventh census in 2020, and the changes in fertility rates have reduced the size of China’s births and continued to slow population growth. The youth population in 2000, 2010 and 2020 includes a large number of people born during the one-child policy period, and the later the year, the fewer the “post-70s” and “post-80s” in the youth cohort. “These birth cohorts are more obviously influenced by population policies and economic development, and thus the size of the youth population decreases over the years.
In the future, the size of China’s youth population still maintains a declining trend. Using the data of the 7th census in 2020 as the base data, combined with the cohort element method, setting the total fertility rate of China in 2021-2050 to maintain the level of 2020130 and the age-specific fertility pattern of the reproductive age population, the population mortality pattern and the life expectancy of the 0-year-old population to maintain the same pattern of 2020, and the international migration to 0, this paper makes a In this paper, we make a simple projection of China’s population size in 2021-2050. From the forecast results (see Figure 2), the absolute size of China’s youth population still maintains a decreasing trend from 2021 to 2050, and China’s youth population will drop to 357 million in 2030 and 257 million in 2050.
Since the population born in 2020 will not enter the youth age stage until 2034, the main reason for the change in the youth population during 2021-2033 is due to the change in the size of the population born before 2020. Due to the implementation of the comprehensive two-child policy, China’s birth population reached 17.86 million in 2016, about 1.3 million more than in 2015, a higher magnitude of growth in recent years, and the size of the birth population fell back after 2017, so that in 2030, when the population born in 2016 enters the youth cohort, an increase in the size of the youth population can be observed, but it is maintained for a short period of time and begins to After 2034, the population born after 2020 enters the youth cohort, and the projections set the Chinese population of reproductive age in 2021-2050 to maintain the same level of fertility as in 2020, with a total fertility rate of 1.3 in 2020, a low level that falls far short of the replacement level of a total fertility rate of 2.1, even if the fertility level and fertility pattern of the population of reproductive age Even if the fertility level and fertility pattern of the reproductive age group remain unchanged, the declining female reproductive age population will still result in a declining absolute number of young people and an accelerating downward trend. Under this scenario, there is room for future youth size to rise only if fertility rates increase. Therefore, in order to expand the size of the youth population and slow down the development of aging, it is crucial to increase the fertility rate of the current and future reproductive age population.
2. The proportion of young people in the total population rises and then falls, and the aging at the bottom is superimposed on the aging at the top, accelerating the aging of China’s population age structure
Changes in the size of the youth population directly affect the structure of youth in the total population. similar to the changes in the size of the youth population, the proportion of youth in the total population in successive censuses has been characterized by an increase and then a decrease. the proportion of youth was 34.55% in 1953 and dropped slightly to 33.72% in 1964, but then climbed continuously, peaking at 42.05% in 1990 and then began to decline, falling to a historical low of 28.42% in 2020 The lowest point is 28.42% in 2020. Combined with the forecast results in Figure 2, due to the shrinking youth population, if the fertility level of the reproductive age group remains at the current low fertility status, the proportion of China’s youth population will continue to decline in the future, dropping to 25.74% in 2030 and 21.17% in 2050. If the fertility rate increases in the future and the size of the birth population increases, the decline in the proportion of youth in the total population will slow down or even rise, but if the fertility rate remains unchanged at the current low fertility level or falls to a lower level, the declining trend of the proportion of youth in the total population of China will be difficult to alleviate.
After the 1980s, the decline in the size of the younger population, including youth, overlapped with the growth in the size of the older population, and the age structure of China’s population aged rapidly. The increase of the proportion of the elderly population caused by the slowdown of the growth of the young population at the bottom of the population age pyramid is called bottom aging, while the acceleration of the growth of the elderly population at the top of the age pyramid leads to the increase of the proportion of the elderly population, which is called top aging. In China, due to the implementation of family planning policy and the rapid acceleration of social transformation, the top aging and bottom aging occur simultaneously, resulting in the rapid aging of population age structure, and the transformation of quantitative pressure to structural pressure becomes the main contradiction of China’s current population development.
From the pyramid of population age structure in Figure 3, we can observe that the age structure of China’s population has undergone profound changes since the 1950s to the present: in 1953, China’s population age structure showed a typical pyramid shape, with a low proportion of the elderly population, with only 4.41% of the population aged 65 and above, and a high proportion of 36.28% of the population aged 0-14, which was a young population age structure; In 1982, the age structure of China’s population transitioned from young to adult, with the proportion of the population aged 0~14 decreasing to 33.59% and the proportion of the population aged 65 and above increasing to 4.91%, but the youth population in this period was not affected by the family planning policy, and most of them were born in the 1960s during the compensatory childbirth period after the three natural disasters. The high proportion of young people provided a huge labor force to the early reform and opening up, forming a demographic dividend; in 2000, the proportion of China’s population aged 65 and above was 6.96% and exceeded 7% afterwards (according to the division standard determined by the United Nations, when the number of elderly people aged 65 and above exceeds 7% of the total population or the proportion of elderly people aged 60 and above exceeds 10% of the total population in a country or region, it means This country or region enters into an aging society), China starts to step into an older society, the proportion of the population aged 0~14 years old drops to 22.89%, the population born in the family planning period enters the youth stage, the proportion of the youth population in the total population starts to decline, the age structure of the population shows a spindle shape with a contraction at the bottom and widening at the top; in 2020, the scale of China’s elderly population continues to expand, the upper part of the population pyramid In 2020, the size of China’s elderly population continues to expand, and the upper part of the population pyramid becomes wider. The decrease in the size of the youth population and the expansion of the elderly population overlap, and the problem of total population security goes hand in hand with the problem of population structure security, bringing sustainable challenges to social development.
3. The proportion of our youth in the world’s youth has declined significantly, and the age structure of the population is approaching that of developed countries with serious aging, such as Japan
After the founding of New China, the rapid rise in the size of the youth population aged 14 to 35 years has led to a subsequent increase in the proportion of China’s youth population to the global youth population. UN data show (see Figure 4) that the proportion of China’s youth population to the global youth population was 21.93% in 1950 and peaked at 24.85% in 1986. Although the size of our youth population only began to show a downward trend around 2000, the proportion of our youth population to the global youth population began to decline in the mid-to-late 1980s as the growth rate of our youth population slowed and the growth rate of the youth population in other countries (such as India, Africa, and other high-fertility countries or regions) accelerated. in 2020, the size of the global youth population aged 14 to 35 In 2020, the global youth population aged 14~35 years old will be 2.650 billion, and the proportion of our youth population will be only 16.43%, which is about 8% lower than the peak level reached in 1986. In 2020, India’s youth population will account for 19.81% of the global youth population, 3% higher than that of China. As the size of our youth population decreases further in the future, there is still room for the share of our youth population in the total global youth population to decrease. the share of our youth will drop to 14.58% in 2025, 13.58% in 2030, and only 11.15% in 2050. Although India’s youth population share will also be on a downward trend after 2027, it is always higher than China’s youth share, which will still be 16.82% in 2050.
After 2000, the decline in births has led to a declining trend in the number of young people in China, while the size of the elderly population has accelerated at very low mortality levels, the age structure of China’s population continues to age, and the proportion of young people in the total population begins to fall below the global average. in 2020, the proportion of young people in the total population in China falls to 28.42%, 1.58% lower than the global average and lower than the youth share of India (38.05%), and closer to the youth share of developed countries such as the United States (29.93%).
As shown in Figure 5, in the future, our youth share is still lower than the global and India, and even lower than the U.S. youth share of the population, approaching the situation of Japan, which is plagued by less children. In terms of the rate of decline, the youth share of the United States and other developed Western countries is declining more slowly, but the youth share of China is declining at a significant rate, similar to the rate of decline in Japan, South Korea and other developed East Asian countries. As the global demographic structure undergoes significant changes, the aging process continues to develop and the demographic dividend decreases, while youth, as the “indigenous residents” of the digital age, have a deepening influence on the global digital trend and are growing into the leading force of the new economy, new consumption, and new culture in the future, the strategic position of youth in the development of each country is highlighted. The decrease in the absolute number of young people and their share in the total population will inevitably affect the power of our country in the global competition.
4. After returning to normal levels in 2000, the youth sex ratio has risen rapidly in recent years and is now in a state of imbalance
The youth sex ratio in China has fluctuated greatly over the censuses. As shown in Figure 6, the youth sex ratio in China was 107.27 in 1953, rose to 110.71 in 1964, and began to decline after 1982, falling to a level of 105.47 in 2010, but increasing again to 111.23 in 2020.The sex ratios of most countries in the world fluctuate in the range of 96 to 106, and according to this standard, only the fifth census in China and the sixth census, the gender structure of youth was in a normal state. Both the high youth sex ratio in the early years of New China and the current youth sex imbalance stem from the preference for boys, but the specific paths leading to the youth sex ratio imbalance differ. The former is mainly due to the low status of females before the founding of New China and the serious phenomenon of female infants being drowned. Even if female infants were not artificially drowned, neglect, early childbirth age, and poor childbirth environment would lead to higher female infant and adolescent mortality rates than male ones, resulting in fewer female youths than male ones in the early years of New China. With the improvement of female status and the rapid development of health care after the founding of New China, and the legal prohibition of infant drowning, abandonment, and other infant mutilations, the risk of female mortality decreased and the youth sex ratio returned to a normal range.
The imbalance in the sex structure of youth in recent years is the result of the combination of male preference, declining fertility rate, and increasing accessibility of sex selection technologies, and is a consequence of the long-term high sex ratio at birth. The development of ultrasound technology and abortion technology has provided technical support for fetal sex selection, and individuals with a preference for male children will choose to obtain their desired sex through reproduction. The persistently high sex ratio at birth after the 1980s has led to an imbalance in the sex structure of the “post-80s,” “post-90s,” and “post-00s” birth cohorts, and the later the birth cohort, the greater the imbalance. The further back the birth cohort is, the more serious the imbalance is, which also makes the current gender structure of youth composed of these birth cohorts in a state of imbalance. “In 2020, the sex ratio of the post-80s is 105.70, the post-90s is 110.54, and the post-00s is 115.38. The high sex ratio will lead to a surplus of male youths in marriage relationships, making it difficult for male youths at the bottom of the marriage market to marry successfully, which may impact the traditional and stable marriage structure, directly affecting the development of young individuals and family stability, and leading to an imbalance in social relationships, bringing great risks and challenges to social development, and not conducive to balanced population development and social stability.
5. Rapid urbanization of youth after the reform and opening up, and the level of urbanization of youth is always higher than the total population
After the reform and opening up, China’s urbanization has advanced rapidly. Meanwhile, the development of socialist market economy has provided favorable conditions for the spontaneous movement and redistribution of labor between urban and rural areas and between regions, and a large number of young rural laborers have flocked to cities, normalizing population movement and promoting rapid urbanization of youth. Since the reform and opening up, population mobility has become a generalized phenomenon in China. In 1982, the number of mobile population in China was only 6.57 million, and the data of the seventh census shows that this figure has increased to 376 million in 2020, which is about 57 times of the scale. Urbanization and population mobility have led to a continuous increase in the proportion of young urban population. In 1982, at the beginning of reform and opening up, the urbanization rate of young people in China was only 22.53%, but in 2020 it reached 71.00%, a more than threefold increase in 40 years. Since the youth population is more mobile than other age groups, it can be observed from Figure 7 that the degree of urbanization of youth is always higher than that of the total population. Generally female youths are slightly more urbanized than male youths, with 69.80% of the male population in urban areas in 2020 and 72.33% of the female population in urban areas.
1. The decrease in the size of female youth and the low willingness of youth to marry and have children are intertwined, which adversely affects population reproduction and increases the risk of future demographic imbalance
The youth age stage is the prime time for female childbirth, and the number of children born to female youth aged 15-35 in 2020 accounted for 89.49% of the number of children born to people of childbearing age 15-49. The number of female youth population and willingness to give birth are directly related to the direction of the birth population size of the whole population. On the one hand, in recent years, the size of China’s female youth population has accelerated its decline. The average annual growth rate was -0.53% from 2000 to 2010, and accelerated to -1.77% in 2020, to 211 million in 2020. On the other hand, the change in the concept of marriage and childbearing brought by modernization and the high competitive pressure under social transformation have led to the postponement of marriage and childbearing age among young people, a high proportion of unmarried and low desire to have children. In 2016, when the comprehensive two-child policy began to be implemented, the marriageable age of young people in China was 26.1 years old, and it increased to 26.5 years old in 2019.
With the postponement of the age of first marriage, the proportion of unmarried young people is on the rise year by year, and the size of the unmarried youth population is huge. Data from the seventh census show that the proportion of unmarried youth in China was 51.94% in 2020, which is 3.24% higher than in 2016 and 14.30% higher than in 1990, meaning that there are currently 200 million unmarried youth in China, of which more than 83 million are female youth population. Although some studies show that the proportion of cohabitation among young people in China is increasing, the proportion of unmarried births is low, and birth within marriage is still a common fertility pattern in China, and the postponement of the age of first marriage inevitably leads to the postponement of the age of first childbirth, and the existence of a large unmarried population objectively reduces the probability of birth for current female youth and affects the fertility level in the period. the one-child fertility rate of female youth aged 15-35 in 2016 was 31.87 per thousand. In 2020, it decreases to 28.34 per 1,000. Meanwhile, the development of modernization has brought about the rise of individualism, young people put more emphasis on self-worth in the process of marriage and childbearing, diluting the value and significance of children to a certain extent, the improvement of women’s education level has also increased their labor participation rate and social status, and modern families have obvious work-family conflicts and higher parenting costs, which promote the formation of low fertility desire among young people. A number of surveys have shown that the current fertility desire of China’s childbearing age group basically remains within two children, and the proportion of people willing to have three or more children is extremely low, and the younger the age, the lower the fertility desire of individuals.
Under the combined effect of the decline in the size of female youth and the high proportion of unmarried youth and low fertility intentions, the size of China’s birth population declines in fluctuation. As shown in Figure 8, although a certain pile-up of births occurred in China at the beginning of the adjustment of the fertility policy, with 17.86 million births in 2016, the short-lived pile-up was followed by a rapid decline, and the number of births in China fell to 10.62 million in 2021, the lowest value of this statistic since the establishment of New China. The previous population projection model shows that the current size of the continuously declining birth cohort will have an impact on the size and share of the future youth population as it enters the young adult age group. Due to demographic inertia, even if the fertility rate of the reproductive age population increases in the future, the size of the youth population and its share in the total population will remain decreasing for quite some time. If the fertility level of the population continues to decline in the future, it will be difficult for the size of the youth population to rise, and the stable demographic structure will be broken, which is not conducive to the long-term healthy development of society.
2. The decrease in the youth population increases the hidden danger of population security, and the escalation of the “war for people” in various cities expands the risk of imbalance in the development of youth population between regions, which is not conducive to the revitalization of the countryside and the realization of common prosperity
The long-term maintenance of below-replacement-level fertility in our country’s reproductive-age population will cause the total population to decrease at a constant rate, posing a threat to the security of the total population. While the total population decreases, the low fertility rate of the population is superimposed on the low mortality rate, the size of the juvenile and young population decreases sharply, and the size and proportion of the elderly population increases, leading to an increase in the dependency burden of the working age population. At the micro level, the age distribution of the population with an inverted pyramid structure affects the upward mobility of youth, while they need to bear an increasingly heavy dependency pressure, which is not conducive to the happiness and sense of access of the youth group. At the macro level, youth are the most dynamic and creative group in society and an important human resource guarantee for national defense and military construction. Therefore, the aging labor force structure and labor shortage caused by the decreasing youth population may become a constraint for China’s economic transformation and industrial upgrading in the future, and also affect the scale of national defense supply, while the huge number of elderly population under the top aging increases the burden of social pensions. It has a crowding-out effect on household human capital investment, enterprise R&D investment and national expenditure on science and education, and negatively affects the quality of labor supply.
The negative impact of the declining youth population is first seen at the regional level, with population competition further widening the regional development gap. Against the backdrop of deepening aging, decreasing youth population and gradually diminishing demographic dividend, the strategic position of youth has been highlighted, and cities have introduced various preferential policies to attract youth. In recent years, many cities in China have realized “zero threshold” for settling down, and the policy direction of some regions has changed from “grabbing talents” to “grabbing population”, and many cities have taken the initiative to explore the construction of “youth development cities”. Many cities have taken the initiative to explore the construction of “youth development cities” in order to gather more young people to participate in promoting urban economic and social development. The competition among regions facilitates youth mobility, and the better the economic conditions are, the more powerful the regions are in providing attractive policies for youth, thus promoting youth mobility from rural to urban areas, from central and western regions to eastern regions, and from non-metropolitan areas to metropolitan areas. The negative impact of the decrease in youth size is faster for local regions than for the country as a whole, and non-metropolitan areas, mid-western regions, and rural areas will suffer from both the continued reduction of the population labor force and the aging of the population due to the decrease in births and the outflow of youth population. In fact, the trend of population collapse in local areas (such as the northeast) has already begun to emerge, and the northeast has now entered into a negative population growth mode. Under the influence of population inertia, the situation of population collapse in these areas will intensify. The key to the coordinated development of the East, Central and West and rural revitalization lies in people. The large outflow of young people has caused the aforementioned problems of labor shortage and increased burden of retirement to create gaps between metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, between urban and rural areas, and between the East and Central and West, affecting the coordination of regional development and hindering rural revitalization and the realization of common prosperity.
3. The high youth sex ratio has led to a serious marriage squeeze for men, and rural areas are facing a serious surplus of unmarried men, bringing hidden dangers to rural grassroots social governance
Gender structural imbalance is the basic structural characteristic of the current youth population in China. Gender structural imbalance will lead to an imbalance in the number of men and women of marriageable age, and then a marriage squeeze phenomenon in which men or women have difficulties in choosing a spouse, and the high sex ratio is manifested as a male marriage squeeze. From the data of the seventh census, the unmarried youth sex ratio reached 135.39 in 2020, higher than the level of 124.26 in 2010, which is closely related to the high birth sex ratio in the birth cohort of new entrants to the youth cohort. Within the youth cohort, the unmarried sex ratio shows the characteristic that the older the age, the higher the unmarried sex ratio. The unmarried sex ratio of 20-year-old youth is 112.57, while the unmarried sex ratio of 35-year-old youth is as high as 243.20, indicating that the older the age, the more serious the male youth marriage surplus. Due to the long-term male birth preference and the influence of female youth outflow for work, the marriage squeeze of male youth in rural areas is obviously more serious than in urban areas, and in 2020, the unmarried sex ratio of youth in rural areas is 158.03, which is 30.54 higher than that in urban areas, and the older the youth is, the greater the urban-rural difference in unmarried sex ratio, which shows that youth in rural areas face a more serious “marriage difficulties” “marriage squeeze” and other problems.
Marriage, as a social setting, is the socialization marker of an individual’s adulthood, and under the social environment of universal marriage in China, marriage is also a necessary prerequisite for population production and reproduction. First, young people who suffer from severe marital squeeze will not only be under pressure from their families and communities, but also their “passive singleness” will jeopardize their own identity and reduce their inner sense of psychological security, and some groups may attribute the problem of marital squeeze to external factors such as inadequate social security, triggering a certain risk of institutional trust. Second, although heterogeneous marriage matches are gradually increasing in China with the development of the times, homogeneous marriages (couples with equal socioeconomic status) still dominate the current marriage matching pattern. Meanwhile, in heterogeneous marriage matches, rural women are more likely to migrate to urban areas through marriage, and the disadvantaged status at the socio-economic level and the outflow of rural women make the remaining male youth in rural areas face more serious dilemmas in choosing a spouse, and the long-term marriage surplus may force this group of people to adopt excessive behaviors to satisfy their own needs, and even lead to illegal and criminal behaviors, such as illegal sex trade, illegal The long-term marital surplus may force these people to adopt radical behaviors to satisfy their own needs, and even lead to criminal acts, such as illegal sex trade, illegal transnational marriage, human trafficking, sexual assault, etc., which affect social security. The large number of single men in rural areas lacks the support of spouses and children, and the lack of family retirement function. All of the above problems will bring serious challenges to rural grassroots social governance.
This paper summarizes the characteristics of changes in the size and structure of the youth population based on statistics such as data from previous censuses, and analyzes the possible social risks brought by the current youth population changes. From the results of the study, the size of China’s youth and the proportion of the total population show the characteristics of rising and then falling, and due to the continuous decrease of births, the size of China’s youth population will continue to maintain a declining trend in the future, while the size of the elderly population accelerates to grow at a very low mortality level. The youth ratio is lower than the global and Indian levels, and even lower than the youth ratio in the United States. In terms of gender structure, China’s youth sex ratio fluctuates greatly, and after returning to a normal level in 2000, the youth sex ratio has risen rapidly in recent years and is now in a state of imbalance. In terms of regional distribution, a large number of young people flowed into cities after the reform and opening up, the urbanization rate of the youth population increased rapidly, and the level of youth urbanization is always higher than the total population. The decline in the size and proportion of youth population and the low willingness of youth to marry and have children are intertwined, increasing the risk of future demographic imbalance. The high youth sex ratio leads to a serious marriage squeeze among men, and the large number of unmarried men is not conducive to the development of young individuals and social stability. Based on the above findings, this paper puts forward the following recommendations.
1. reshape the culture of marriage and childbirth, broaden the channels for unmarried young people to make friends, reduce the costs of childbirth, raising and education, and increase young people’s willingness to marry and raise children from the perspective of guidance and reducing the costs of marriage and childbirth
First, reshape the cultural atmosphere of marriage and childbirth, establish the value of respect for marriage and childbirth, and eliminate youth anxiety and fear of marriage and childbirth. Strengthen the guidance of marriageable youth on the concept of marriage, family and fertility, crack down on illegal acts such as marriage fraud and bigamy, strengthen the youth’s sense of respect, integrity and responsibility for emotional life and family life, and convey a positive, healthy and beautiful concept of marriage, family and fertility. Secondly, to take advantage of the advantages of group organizations, build a platform for youth communication and friendship, broaden youth dating channels online and offline, realize the parallel development of “platform, activities and services” of youth marriage dating service pattern, and provide the necessary social support for youth who are willing to get married. Third, through improving the maternity leave system and maternity insurance system, strengthening tax and housing support policies, establishing a flexible and government-subsidized childcare service system, and promoting education equity and the supply of quality educational resources, we will resolve the role conflicts of young people of the right age in multiple fields, such as education, marriage, and work, reduce the costs of childbirth and parenting for families, and improve the wonderful experience of young families in the process of childbirth, parenting and education. experience.
2. Insist on cracking down on the prohibition of “two illegal acts”, while promoting gender equality from the perspective of the life course and increasing the equality of the distribution of benefits between the two sexes, in order to weaken the culture of preference for boys and reverse the long-term imbalance in the sex ratio at birth
In the short term, it is still necessary to adhere to the efforts to combat the prohibition of the “two illegal acts”, and the relevant punitive measures need to be clearer, more targeted and stronger to increase the cost of the “two illegal acts”. With the advancement of technology, some new types of fetal sex determination techniques have become popular, and the relevant departments need to improve the investigation and punishment methods according to the new violations, and the policies and regulations also need to adjust the punishment methods in accordance with the advancement of technology. In the long run, the fundamental solution to the imbalance in the sex ratio at birth is to weaken the negative evaluation of women’s role in the process of individual growth and promote gender equality from the perspective of life course development. In terms of education, it is necessary to guarantee equal access to education for both genders, while promoting the idea of gender equality in the education process. We should build a workplace culture of gender equality and guarantee equal employment opportunities for men and women when individuals end their student status and enter society, so as to reduce gender discrimination in the job market. In terms of marriage and childbirth, we should combat bad social customs such as bad marriage practices and overpriced bride price, promote supporting policies on childbirth that are conducive to fathers’ participation, explore family policies that are conducive to fathers’ active participation, change the traditional concept that childcare is a woman’s exclusive job, advocate a family culture in which couples share responsibility for childbirth and parenting, and affirm the value of domestic work. In terms of benefit distribution, the equality of gender distribution should be improved, such as using policies and regulations to ensure equal rights for women and men in the distribution and inheritance of family of origin property (e.g., house bases, etc.), etc.
3. Accelerate the supply of quality public services in areas with outflow of youth population, establish a sound policy support system for youth to go to the central and western regions, return to their hometowns for employment and entrepreneurship, and provide a manpower base for coordinated development in the east, central and western regions and rural revitalization
First, public service supply is the basic guarantee to attract and retain youth, so we should strengthen the modernization of the grassroots governance system and governance capacity in areas with population outflow, enhance the youth element in the process of coordinated development in the east, middle and west and rural revitalization by building a grassroots management service platform with grid-based management, refined services, information support and open sharing, and provide good employment and entrepreneurship for youth returning to their hometowns. Survival conditions and convenient public services. Secondly, education resources are the most important part of public service supply. We should continue to increase government investment, promote balanced allocation of education resources, focus on the construction and expansion of primary and secondary schools and kindergartens in rural areas, standardize and renovate public primary and secondary schools, improve school conditions, and integrate more rural schools into the center through “government purchase of services and contract management”. Through “government purchase of services and contract management”, more rural schools will be placed under the trusteeship of famous schools in the central city, so as to rapidly improve their operation level and education quality, narrow the gap between urban and rural education development, and improve the development capacity of rural population. Third, implement a more active, open and effective talent mobility policy to attract youth support for the development of central and western China and rural revitalization. Continuously optimize the system design and resource supply for the settlement of young talents, youth employment and entrepreneurship, social resource allocation, and youth social security, and promote the construction of industrial carrier platforms such as entrepreneurship parks, agricultural technology service platforms, and market information exchange platforms to solve the information asymmetry problem for the development of small towns and rural industries and businesses. Strengthen the construction of talent teams, carry out training for new young professional farmers, young rural electric business professionals and technical personnel, and strengthen efforts to explore rural talents such as cultural competent persons and non-genetic inheritors to cultivate new professional farmers. Fourth, focus on training outstanding young cadres, open up channels for the exchange of young cadres from the east, the middle and the west, urban and rural areas, build a healthy ecosystem conducive to the healthy growth of young cadre teams rooted in the grassroots, and guide young people to take root in the grassroots.