Are "Dragon Babies" Bumping Up China's Birth Rate?

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Feb 13, 2024 - 11:55 AM

The year of the dragon commenced Saturday according to the Chinese lunar calendar.

Carrying the zodiac sign that has been associated with the birth years 2024, 2012, 2000 and 1988 most recently is considered desirable among Chinese as people born under the dragon sign are said to be more lucky, intelligent and successful. Babies born from Saturday onward until before lunar new year 2025 will carry the sign.

In fact, as Statista's Katharina Buchholz reports, the status of the dragon as the star among star signs is considered so outstanding that Chinese people have been known to attempt to have a child in dragon years.

While very low birth rates in recent years mean that China could use a dragon baby bump, is it actually happening? Data by the National Bureau of Statistics of China shows that if at all, only one such incident has so far happened in 2012.

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That year, China saw around 14.5 million births, the most since 1999 despite an otherwise falling trend. However, the early 2010s saw a lot of ups and downs in China's birth rate, and while 2012 was in fact the biggest up, it could have been incidental. Right now, China's birth rate has fallen so low that even a small bump the size of the one that happened in 2012 would do little to counteract the massive downwards trend in births in recent years.

While there have been reports that in previous decades as well, births plummeted in the year following the year of the dragon, the data shows that in the year 2000 as well as in 1988, this development was part of a general downwards trend that started before the "dragon years" and continued after them. Despite this, other positive developments could come out of the year of the dragon frenzy as the wedding industry and gold sellers report an increase of dragon-related demand.