Birthrates Still Low a Year After Two-Child Policy Enacted

By Bridget O'Donnell, September 22, 2016

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It's been a little under a year since China officially abandoned the decades-old one-child policy, replacing it with a two-child policy.

But nearly a year into the new policy, the birthrate in many areas around China has seen little to no increase, according to People's Daily

According to the latest figures, the national birthrate currently stands at 12.1 births for every 1,000 people in China. World Data Atlas figures say that the rate was 12.07 in 2015, which would equate to a fertility rate of around 1.57 children per woman.

But in some areas that figure is significantly lower. The city of Yichang in Hubei province, for example, has a birthrate of just 9.2 births per 1,000 people. That's less than one child per woman. 

The city's Health and Family Planning Commission has taken extra efforts to increase the birthrate by pushing local citizens to have another kid. People's Daily reports that the commission issued a public letter earlier this week "urging young comrades to lead by example in birthing a second child." The commission also encouraged older people to "act as vocal advocates and encourage the youth."

As we noted earlier last year, China’s rapidly aging population led several of the nation's top think tanks to urge the government to relax the one-child policy, first introduced in 1978, to control the nation’s booming population. 

According to recent statistics, 16 out of every 100 Chinese citizens are over the age of 60. That figure is predicted to rise to 40 out of 100 in the next few years.

[Image via Asia Times]

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