Why China’s falling birth rate means job losses for Limerick

Why is China’s population falling? Beijing correspondent Denis Staunton explains

Listen | 23:19

Earlier this month multinational food giant Nestlé announced the shocking news that it is to close its Wyeth Nutrition plant in Askeaton, Co Limerick with a loss of 540 jobs. And the blame? China’s falling birth rate.

The plant which has been providing steady employment in the region for decades produces one thing – baby formula. The company stated: “The number of newborn babies in China has declined sharply from some 18 million per year in 2016 to fewer than nine million projected in 2023.”

So, while the falling birth rate in China has led to a decision to close a major employer in Limerick, Beijing correspondent Denis Staunton explains it also has massive implications globally and for China itself as the country tries to boost birth rates and reverse the “one child policy” implemented for 35 years. Presented by Bernice Harrison. Produced by Declan Conlon.

Bernice Harrison

Bernice Harrison

Bernice Harrison is an Irish Times journalist and cohost of In the News podcast