China’s population conundrum, with UNC demographer Yong Cai


Play episode:

This week on Sinica, Kaiser chats with Yong Cai, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This episode — the first in-person interview since February 2020 — looks at the results of China’s 2020 census, the announcement of the much-maligned “three-child policy” that the Chinese government proclaimed shortly after the results of the census were released, and other measures the Chinese leadership is considering to avoid the demographic crisis it now faces.  

6:55: China’s top-heavy demographic structure

20:38: Techno-optimism and its impact on the declining workforce

30:18: Implications for women in family planning

38:53: An alternative approach to inclusive population studies


Yong Cai: A Village With My Name: A Family History of China’s Opening to the World, by Scott Tong. 

Kaiser: The Kominsky Method, available on Netflix, and All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel, by Anthony Doerr.