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China birth rate soars to highest in 17 Years

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

The change in what was formerly China’s strict one-child policy has resulted in an astronomical increase in the country’s birth rates, according to the Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC). Children in China were being born at the highest rate the country has seen in 17 years, the group announced Monday.

The one-child policy, introduced in 1979, slowly faded out early last year after four decades of being in place. With the updated policy, couples were allowed to request to have two children. The change came because of an aging population and large low birth rate in the country.

There were 17.86 million births in 2016, a 7.9% increase in the previous year, statistics showed. More than 45% of the babies born in 2016 had one or more older siblings in their family, studies found.

The long-term effect of the universal second-child policy is very helpful to China’s sustainable development,” said Yuan Xin, a professor of population studies at Nankai University in Tianjin. Yang predicted there would be between 17 and 20 million births every year by 2020. By 2050, China may see an extra 30 million people of working age as well as a reduction in the nation’s aging rate by 2%, officials have estimated.

The one-child policy was said to have reduced overpopulation, poverty and environmental degradation, according to Chinese officials.

However, a 2015 survey by the commission found nearly 75% of respondents were reluctant to have a second baby, mainly because of economic discomfort. Aside from financial concerns, families were hesitant because of their age, career development and a lack of caregivers, studies showed.

Yuan suggested the government “to consider incentives” such as implementing favorable tax policies, extended maternity leave and education for families with two children, which in the end will lessen the parents’ economic burdens.

Source by: Internet

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