Beijing, May 11: China's population growth is falling closer to zero as fewer couples have children, the government announced Tuesday, adding to strains on an aging society with a shrinking workforce.

The population rose by 72 million over the past decade to 1.411 billion in 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics said. It said annual growth averaged 0.53%, decelerating from the previous decade. Zero COVID-19 Deaths Reported in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland in Past 24 Hours.

Chinese leaders have enforced birth limits since 1980 to restrain population growth but worry the working age population is falling too fast, disrupting efforts to create a prosperous economy. They have eased birth limits, but couples are put off by high costs, cramped housing and job discrimination faced by mothers.

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