BEIJING, July 21 (Xinhua) -- China, with its current 1.3 billion people, is expected to witness a zero population growth rate by 2030, a population expert predicted Tuesday.
"The momentum for China's population growth has weakened since the beginning of this century," Tian Xueyuan, former president of the Institute of Population and Labor Economics under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said at an economic and social development forum here.
"Zero growth could be realized when the country's population hit the peak of 1.465 billion by 2030," he said.
Compared with the country's 20th century campaigns to curb rapid population growth, China's current task is to stabilize the low growth rate and achieve a zero growth rate, he said.
China's family planning policy, which was formulated in the early 1970s, encourages late marriages and late childbearing, and limits most urban couples to one child and most rural couples to two children.
It's estimated that without the policy the country's population would be 400 million more than the current 1.3 billion people.
In the first half of the 21st century, China will witness a peak in its total population, working-age population, and elderly population, according to the National Population and Family Planning Commission.
One third of China's total population, about 437 million people, will be citizens over 60 years old in 2050, while its population of 16 to 60-year-olds will hit the peak of 990 million in 2016, government figures showed.
The work-age population will then drop to 870 million in 2050, according to government projection.