China experienced its lowest birthrate in more than a half-century last year, just 10.8 births per 1,000 citizens, data released recently by the country's National Bureau of Statistics showed.

Around the same time, the bureau announced China’s growth in its gross domestic product hit its lowest level since 1990, about 6.6%. These statistics are thought to be the lingering results of the country’s notorious “One Child Policy,” which was instituted in 1979 over concerns a ballooning population would negatively impact the economy.

The policy was relaxed to two children in 2016 after it was found to have been too successful. Still, based on the recent data, it appears one-child households have become a social norm, leading to an ever-declining birthrate and GDP.

“China should have stopped the policy 28 years ago. Now it's too late,” Yi Fuxian, a scientist at the University of Wisconsin, said in a 2019 interview with the Guardian.

Estimates say that by 2050, roughly a third of China’s population will be more than 60 years of age. This aging populace is expected to put a major strain on the Chinese government to care for the elderly and dampen the country’s long-term economy.