China ends two-child policy, allows families to have three children

China ends two-child policy
Image: Public Domain Pictures

In a major policy shift, China on Monday ended the two-child policy and announced that married couples in the country can now have up to three children. The announcement came following dramatic drop in births in the most populous country in the world.

President Xi Jinping chaired a Politburo meeting, where the major change in policy was approved, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

China ends two-child policy

China abolished its decade-long one-child policy back in 2016. It was initially imposed to stop a population explosion, with a two-child limit, which did not result in a sustained increase in births because the high cost of raising children deterred many couples from starting families.

“To further optimize the birth policy, (China) will implement a one-married-couple-can-have-three-children policy,” Xinhua said in a report on the meeting.

The policy change will come with “supportive measures, which will be conducive to improving our country’s population structure, fulfilling the country’s strategy of actively coping with an aging population and maintaining the advantage, endowment of human resources,” Xinhua said.

However, it did not specify the support measures.

Cold response

The announcement sparked a cold reaction on Chinese social media, with many people saying they couldn’t even afford to have one or two child.

“I am willing to have three children if you give me 5 million yuan ($785,650),” one Weibo user wrote.

Births decline

Earlier this month, China’s once-a-decade census revealed the slowest population growth in the past decade since the 1950s, at 1.41 billion.

The data also revealed a birth rate of just 1.3 children per woman in 2020 alone, as compared to ageing societies like Japan and Italy.

Meanwhile, China’s Politburo said on Monday that it would phase-in delays in China’s retirement ages, but did not provide details.

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