The new policy change will come with "supportive measures” including lower educational costs for families and step up tax and housing support
China has announced that it will allow couples to have up to three children. This is a major shift from the existing limit of two. The decision comes after recent data that showed a dramatic decline in births in the world’s most populous country.
Early this month, a once-in-a-decade census showed that only around 12 million babies were born in 2020, which is a significant decrease from the 18 million born in 2016 and the lowest number of births recorded since the 1960s. China's population trends have, over the years, been largely shaped by the One Child Policy which was introduced in 1979 to slow population growth.
The policy succeeded in curbing population growth but also led to coerced sterilisations and a gender imbalance. China scrapped the policy in 2016, replacing it with a two-child limit which also failed to lead to a sustained upsurge in births. China had a fertility rate of just 1.3 children per woman in 2020 which is far short of the roughly 2.1 needed for replacement level.
The new policy change will come with "supportive measures” including lower educational costs for families and step up tax and housing support. Experts say that incredibly high costs of raising children in China is holding people back from having children. China's politburo also said May 31 that it would phase-in delays in retirement ages.
Experts had warned that any impact on China's population could have a vast effect on other economies of the world.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.