China changes its demographic policy and will allow couples to have three children

Posted on May 31, 2021

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By THE DRAFTING Date: 05/31/2021

China will allow couples to have three children, instead of the two allowed so far, which means a big change in the demographic policies of the most populous country in the world.

The objective of “improving the population structure” of the country, as well as “responding actively to the problem of aging,” according to the statement released by the Xinhua agency.

The policy change was approved on Monday at a meeting of the politburo chaired by Xi Jinping, but it is not yet known when it will take effect.

Growth slowdown

The census in China is conducted once every 10 years. The last one, published on the 11th, shows a significant decrease in births that threatens the population change.

In 2020 the population of mainland China exceeded 1.411 million. They are 72 million more than in the decade 2000-2010, but the growth rate has slowed down and is the slowest since the 1950s of the last century.

The fertility rate (number of children per woman) is 1.3, similar to aging countries like Japan or Italy.

The authorities impose sanctions and fines on those who exceed the maximum number of children allowed. Since 2016, the maximum was two children, after the one-child policy, mandatory since 1979, was repealed.

Measures to promote birth

In addition to expanding the number of children allowed, the new Chinese policy includes other measures to promote birth rates.

For example, the Government is committed to “reducing family spending on education” and “improving maternity leave” to reduce the cost of having children, which has become more expensive in large cities.

The authorities also consider as “bad social habits” the “vision of the family on the part of the young people” or the excessive expenses in celebrations, dowries and wedding gifts.

Likewise, it is proposed to delay the retirement age and implement a series of guarantees for retired workers.

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