Back in mid-2010, I wrote a lengthy post looking at the possible link between labour unrest in China and the so-called 'Lewisian turning point'. Last week, we got another critical data point on China's demographic profile when the country's National Bureau of Statistics announced that China's working age population shrank by 3.45 million people in 2012. According to the Bureau, this drop marks the start of a trend that will see annual declines in China's working age population until at least 2030.

These demographic headwinds would be expected to have important consequences for China's sustainable growth rate over the medium term, as well as for the nature of the Chinese growth model. A major complication in making these kinds of assessments, however, is the quality of the available data on population and fertility, as set out in this piece by the ANU's Jane Golley.

Photo by Flickr user triplefivechina