China is considering ending birth limits as soon as this year, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The plans follow a dip in fertility rates despite the 2015 decision to allow parents to have two kids. The State Council has since commissioned research on the consequences of ending the country’s controversial policy, which is roughly 40 years old, and intends to implement the findings nationwide, according to Bloomberg’s source.
The proposed replacement policy would be an ‘independent fertility’ policy, which would allow couples to have as many children as they like with no government interference. This decision could apparently be made as soon as the fourth quarter, however it may also be pushed back to 2019.
This dramatic change in policy would end one of the world’s largest social experiments in population control, which left China with a rapidly ageing population and a gender imbalance of 30 million more males than females.
However, Bloomberg’s report seems to indicate that ending the policy now may not make an impact on China’s fertility issue. "The policy shift will hardly boost the number of newborns in China," Huang Wenzheng, a senior researcher at Beijing-based think tank Center of China and Globalization, told Bloomberg. "China’s number of births will continue to drop dramatically, considering a sharp decrease in the number of fertile women and declining fertility willingness."
[Photo via Ao Laurence/Flickr]