China's population will not see a drastic decline in the next few decades, according to the top health authority on Monday.
The population is forecast to peak at 1.45 billion around 2030, stand at more than 1.38 billion in 2050, and reach 1 billion by the end of the century.
The figures were provided by Yang Wenzhuang, head of grassroots family planning supervision for the National Health and Family Planning Commission.
"It will take 40 years, starting in 1981, for the population to increase from 1 billion to 1.4 billion, and another 70 years for the population to decrease to 1 billion again," he said on Monday. "The population will not decline at a rapid rate."
Yang made the comments after the announcement of a decrease in the birthrate last year, despite implementation in 2016 of a universal second-child policy that allows all couples in China to have two children.
Last year, about 17.23 million babies were born in China, roughly 630,000 fewer than in 2016, according to data released in January by the National Bureau of Statistics.
Yang said a recent survey organized by the health commission, which was conducted by a third party, showed economic pressure is the main issue that prevents couples from having a second child.
More than 82 percent of couples said the major reason for not having a second child is because of the financial burden, while others said they could not find time to take care of a second child, he said.