Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Credit: Javier Quiroga via Unsplash Even though everyone knows that China’s official demographic figures are systematically overestimated, the authorities have consistently cracked down on anyone who questions the data. For example, my book Big Country with an Empty Nest was quickly banned when it appeared in 2007, because it voiced concerns about China’s one-child policy and predicted that the Chinese population would begin to shrink in 2017, not in 2033-34, as Chinese officials and the United Nations’ 2006 World Population Prospects (WPP) had projected. Then, in 2019, I concluded that China’s population had already been overtaken by India in 2014 and begun to decline in 2018 (one year later than my initial estimate due to the two-child policy). In response, the head of the Chinese statistics bureau went on China Central Television to accuse me of creating rumors, and People’s Daily Online ranked my conclusion third in its “Top Ten Rumors of 2019Subscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.