Per reporter Yu Ruijun

Recently, various provinces have successively released the development of the national economy in 2022, and in the context of "the national population will decrease by 2022,85 in <>", the changes in local population data are particularly interesting.

Among the 23 provinces that have been announced, Zhejiang ranked first with a net increase of 37,14 people, because Guangdong, the "most populous province", has not yet disclosed data, and it remains to be confirmed whether it can continue to win the "population increment champion"; Hubei and Anhui tied for second with a net increase of 10,58, while Jiangxi ranked fourth with an increase of 10,<>, followed by Jiangsu and Guangxi with a net increase of <>,<>.

Overall, although there are currently 6 provinces with considerable population growth, excluding Guangdong, it has equaled 2021. But the sharply reduced incremental data bluntly exposes population pressures everywhere.

On the one hand, the incremental "leaders" in 2021 have been reduced. In addition to Zhejiang's increase that was close to halving, Hubei, Jiangsu and Fujian decreased by 40,74, 18,1 and 25,18 respectively, while Guangxi decreased the least, with the increase falling from 10,<> to <>,<>.

At the same time, from a regional point of view, the pullback trend is equally pronounced. Among them, the increase in the permanent population of the Yangtze River Delta in 2022 fell below 100 million for the first time in ten years, and only 47,46 people actually increased. The situation in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region is even less optimistic, with the scale of population loss further expanding to 2021,29 in 84, following a decrease of 2022,42 in 3.

According to the academic view, once the negative population growth begins, it will last for a long time. This means that attracting the population to maintain mechanical growth will be the focus of the next local race, and after the "robbery war" in 2017 to promote the population with certain education and skills to basically achieve "zero threshold" settlement, a new round of "grabbing war" is time to begin.

Yangtze River Delta: The increment fell below 50,<>

So far, 23 of the 16 provinces that have disclosed data have had negative natural population growth. Among them, Shandong, Henan, Anhui and Gansu turned from "positive" to "negative" for the first time, while Beijing experienced negative growth for the second time in 2003 years after a brief negative growth in 20.

In comparison, there were 2021 provinces with negative natural population growth in 13. Of course, it is not surprising that more and more provinces have started a state of "negative growth". As a researcher at the Institute of Population and Labor Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences put it, when the replacement level is below 2.1, "it will definitely lead to negative growth at some point in the future."

Natural growth is weak, and mechanical growth has become the main way for local "population stabilization" - to achieve net population growth by attracting foreign populations. The above-mentioned researchers mentioned that although Shanghai, Jiangsu and other places have previously implemented relatively strict family planning policies, they have always performed well in terms of population size by attracting a large number of foreign populations.

The data shows that in 2021, the natural population growth rate of Shanghai and Jiangsu turned negative for the first time, -0.92‰ and -1.12‰ respectively, while Zhejiang and Anhui maintained positive growth, but only 1‰ and 0.05‰. In such a state of "tight balance", the annual net increase in the population of the Yangtze River Delta reached 109,21,<>.

By 2022, Anhui will also turn into a negative natural growth, with "-0.93‰" corresponding to a decrease of 5,7, while Zhejiang's natural growth rate has also approached the critical line, with a natural increase of only 0,3 people. In other words, of the annual net population increase in Zhejiang and Anhui, 36,7 and 19,7 were "attracted" respectively.

It should be emphasized that the Yangtze River Delta, as a highly economically active region, has maintained a high population attraction for a long time, and the scale of permanent population increase in the region has remained above 100 million people in the past decade. However, in 2022, the net population increase of the three provinces and one city will only be 47,46, a record low. Among them, Shanghai's population decreased by 13,54, the largest population decline in 10 years.

Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei: Reduction of more than 40,<> people

The situation in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei is even less optimistic. After a negative growth of 2021,29 in 84, the scale of population loss will expand to 2022,42 in 3.

Specifically, Beijing has had a "moderate" negative growth in its permanent population for six consecutive years, with the largest population decrease of 2022,4 in 3; Tianjin has a net decrease of population size of 10,2021 for two consecutive years; the biggest change occurred in Hebei, where the scale of loss in 15 nearly doubled to 84,2022 after a decrease of 28,<> in <>.

From the perspective of growth composition, the natural growth rates of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei in 2021 were 0.96‰, -0.93‰ and -0.43‰, respectively, and Beijing also turned negative (-2022.0‰) in 05, Tianjin has not yet released relevant data, and Hebei has further expanded to -1.71%. According to this calculation, of the 28,12 people that Hebei lost last year, the natural growth was negative by 7,15, which means that there was a net outflow of 3,0; Beijing naturally decreased by 1,4, and the net outflow reached 2,<>.

Chen Yao, vice president and secretary general of the China Regional Economic Association, pointed out in an interview that as the economic share of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei in the national market decreases, changes in jobs are bound to affect population mobility in this context.

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei accounted for 2022.8% of national GDP in 29, compared with 2012.9% in 5, showing a downward trend in ten years. In contrast, the proportion of the Yangtze River Delta in the national GDP remained relatively stable during the same period, reaching 2012.23% in 7 and 2022% in 24.

Some people believe that Beijing, as the main force in absorbing the population in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, began to actively "reduce development" in 2014, and the reduction of the permanent population is an inevitable result. But if Hebei "can't hold the bottom" - in addition to jobs, there is also the business environment and the quality of public services, which will affect the choice of ordinary people to "vote with their feet", and then affect the population size of the entire region.

Previously, in the process of Beijing's commercial and trade service industry represented by "moving approval", Hebei undertook a large number of people, and the permanent population increased by an average of 2014,2020 per year from 22 to <>. But some of these industries are far from Beijing and it is difficult to survive, and it makes sense that migrant workers "go to places with more jobs".

A demographic expert also mentioned that the economic distribution structure of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei is very different from the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta, except for Beijing, the other two provinces have a relatively weak ability to absorb employment, and Beijing is more inclined to "high-precision and cutting-edge", such as advanced manufacturing, high-end service industries, but from the perspective of demographic structure, "now in the inflow and outflow of the population, high-end talents are a minority after all." He reminded.

Jiangxi Guizhou turned from negative to positive

From the changes in the permanent population in various places in 2022, it can also be seen that industrial development has become the main bargaining chip for "turning losses into profits" in some places.

Taking Jiangxi as an example, the increase in the permanent population changed from -2021,1 in 46 to 2022,10 in 58, with a natural increase of only 1,1 and a mechanical increase of 9,48.

The situation in Inner Mongolia is similar, with the increase in permanent population changing from -2021,2 in 8 to 2022,1 in 17, except that its natural growth population is still negative, reducing by 5,4, and only by attracting 6,57 foreigners can it achieve "turning positive".

Chen Yao said that Jiangxi has "risen" well in the past two years, giving full play to the advantages of strategic resources such as rare earths and lithium mines, and has a good performance in cultivating new energy industries and can provide more jobs, while Inner Mongolia in addition to animal husbandry, energy base construction, "East Data and West Calculation" project and other layouts have provided a support point for it to attract foreign populations.

However, the situation in the other two "regularized" provinces is still quite serious.

Among them, although the increase in Guizhou's permanent population has changed from -2021,6 in 2022 to 4,14 in 3, its natural population growth is <>,<> - the largest natural increase among the provinces that have published population data, that is, Guizhou is not attractive enough to leave "its own people".

Gansu will have a net increase of 2022,2 people in 2, including a mechanical increase of 1,<> people, but in Chen Yao's view, Gansu has not yet cultivated new economic momentum, lacks bright spots in the industry, and will face a more difficult population outflow situation, "one year's data cannot explain the problem."

Obviously, the economy and the population are linked. The data shows that Guizhou's per capita GDP has long ranked last in the country, surpassing Gansu, Heilongjiang and Guangxi in 2015, 2017 and 2018, ranking fourth from the bottom, while Gansu has been surpassed by Guizhou and has so far ranked last, with a per capita GDP of only 2022,4 yuan in 5, about 38% of Zhejiang's per capita GDP.

What to attract the population?

Is the Yangtze River Delta "siphoning" the population of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei? The data disclosed so far cannot directly prove this, but under the development idea of industrial cluster development, the trend of subdivided industries concentrating in specific areas is becoming more and more obvious.

For example, according to the data of third-party recruitment platforms, Hangzhou recently "sucked away" talents from Beijing and Shanghai, and nearly 30% of the talents flowing into Hangzhou entered the "IT\Internet\Game" industry - Hangzhou's advantageous fields.

In Chen Yao's view, in the regional pattern, industrial division of labor and the number of jobs are the key to affecting the transfer of employment. He stressed that how attractive a place is depends on the number of jobs and the quality of public services in the area. Especially as Generation Z moves into society, local governments need to study the needs of today's young people and provide targeted supply.

According to the views of the experts interviewed, the effect of encouraging and supporting fertility is not quickly apparent, and after the round of "grabbing wars" in 2017 leveled the threshold for most cities to settle down, what should be used next to attract the population to maintain mechanical growth is a test and an opportunity.