China’s demographic dividends are still within a “window of opportunity”, but that window will shut soon, with fewer births putting pressure on the working population, a Chinese demographic expert warned on Thursday.

In future, China would have to turn to dividends from its elderly population instead, Song Jian, a demographics professor at Renmin University, told a news briefing in the capital, Beijing.While China’s economy has benefited from its large population in previous decades, the birth rate dropped to a record low in 2021, extending a downward trend that prompted Beijing last year to allow couples to have up to three children.