‘High costs’ may be why Xi­a­men cou­ples in no hurry to have sec­ond child

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By SUN LI in Xi­a­men sunli@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Cou­ples in Xi­a­men, Fu­jian prov­ince, are not rush­ing to have a sec­ond baby, as less than 20 per­cent of cou­ples el­i­gi­ble to have a sec­ond child have ap­plied to do so, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est data re­leased by the Xi­a­men Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion.

The Stand­ing

Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress en­dorsed the two-child pol­icy in late 2013, al­low­ing cou­ples to have a sec­ond child if ei­ther par­ent is an only child. Fu­jian prov­ince re­laxed the one-child pol­icy onMarch 31.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­mis­sion, 25,000 cou­ples are en­ti­tled to have a sec­ond child in Xi­a­men, but un­til Sept 30, only 4,220 cou­ples had ap­plied for per­mis­sion.

The majority of the el­i­gi­ble cou­ples are those who were born in the 1980s, and cou­ples aged be­tween 25 and 32 ac­count for 60 per­cent.

Li Yurong, deputy di­rec­tor of theHaicang dis­trict fam­ily plan­ning bureau, said the majority of those who ap­plied to have a sec­ond baby are peo­ple in sta­ble em­ploy­ment with high earn­ings.

He said many of those cou­ples work the gov­ern­ment, State-owned com­pa­nies and schools, with some fam­i­lies’ an­nual rev­enue ex­ceed­ing 200,000 yuan ($32,700).

“One ma­jor con­cern for many cou­ples con­sid­er­ing a sec­ond baby is the high cost of liv­ing,” Li said.

Guan Guoxin, a Xi­a­men res­i­dent who works for a pri­vate company, said although he is en­ti­tled to have a sec­ond

for child, he won’t do so be­cause rais­ing his 3-year-old daugh­ter has al­ready con­sumed much money and en­ergy.

“The sec­ond baby would put me un­der heav­ier pres­sure,” Guan said.

Fuzhou Univer­sity so­ci­ol­o­gist Gan Man­tang said he is not sur­prised that peo­ple are re­luc­tant to have a sec­ond baby, given the post-1980 gen­er­a­tion, the ma­jor de­mo­graphic group of those who are en­ti­tled to have a sec­ond child, may not have been well-pre­pared after the twochild pol­icy came out.

“Th­ese young adults tend to have fun and en­joy life for sev­eral years, so they are in no hurry to have a sec­ond baby,” he said.

“Still, giv­ing birth to a sec­ond child needs to be en­cour­aged as the low birthrate is lead­ing to ac­cel­er­ated pop­u­la­tion ag­ing,” he added.

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