Chinese authorities are in a bind because they are struggling to deal with the challenges of a declining baby population in the nation as a growing number of young people, particularly women, prefer owning pets to getting married and starting families because of the high cost of child care and the cost of housing, according to Inside Over.
According to a 2021 White Paper published by the China Pet Industry Association, there would be 62.94 million pet owners in China by 2020, up from 62.8 million in 2019. According to a research by Inside Over quoting the consulting company PwC, 88% of all Chinese pet owners are women with high levels of education and annual income.
According to the White Paper, China’s metropolitan areas had 100.8 million dogs and cats in 2020, up from 1.7% in 2019 and a 10.2% growth in 2018, according to Inside Over, which used the data. According to Federico Giuliani in the Inside Over article, the White Paper predicted that the pet industry would be valued 445.6 billion yuan (about USD 70 billion) in 2023.
Chinese households already have up to 200 million dogs and cats as pets, up from 12% in 2012 to 25% in 2021, according to a survey by the multinational professional services network Deloitte, located in London. According to a news article, cats are gaining more popularity than dogs, according to Inside Over.
In China, there were 92 million dogs kept as pets in 2021, while there were 96 million cats overall, according to a Deloitte analysis. According to an Inside Over report, analysts predict that the trend of pet ownership will continue to grow in China as more and more highly educated and well-paid urban residents choose to live alone because they detest getting married and having children there because of the high cost of living and the lengthy workweeks.
The tendency is particularly strong among those between the ages of 20 and 30. A study of 2,905 unmarried urban adults between the ages of 18 and 26 was performed by the Communist Youth League in October 2021, and 43.9% of the women said they had no plans to get married or weren’t sure whether they would.
In contrast, 24.6% of men said they wanted to continue being single. One thing all the folks questioned had in common was that they all treated their dogs and cats like sons. Given that China has entered a period of negative population growth, it has caused significant anxiety among Chinese officials.
Chinese officials urge young people to buck the trend of living with pets and being unmarried in order to address the issue of diminishing population growth. China’s National Bureau of Statistics estimates that in 2022, there would be 1.41 billion inhabitants in the nation, a decrease of 850,000.
China’s fertility rate has decreased to below the replacement level of 2.1 during the 1990s. According to a number of studies, China’s low birth rate has been significantly influenced by growing child-rearing expenses and a lack of social assistance programs, according to the Inside Over study.
According to the Inside Over report, the Chinese government has started to provide incentives like tax breaks, subsidies for childcare, and longer parental leave while discouraging singlehood among the young population out of concern that it will have an unanticipated impact on the number of people of working age. Three children are now allowed for couples in China.
The Chinese government’s efforts are failing, and the country’s strong yearning for a baby boom is not materializing. Instead, there is a pet boom in China’s cities. iiMedia Research, a data mining and research company located in Guangzhou, projects that China’s pet market will grow by 68% to 811 billion yuan (USD 116 billion) by 2025 from 494 billion yuan this year.