Second-child policy increases births by 7.9 percent
The universal second-child policy implemented early last year was a major factor in raising the number of births in China to 17.86 million last year, an increase of 7.9 percent and the highest annual number since 2000, according to the top health authority.
The number of newborns has increased by 1.31 million compared with 2015.
The portion of the births to couples who already had at least one child rose quickly to at least 45 percent last year, Yang Wenzhuang, a division director of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said at a news conference. The proportion was around 30 percent before 2013.
“It demonstrates that the universal second-child policy came in time and worked effectively,” Yang said. “Some regions, mostly large cities in eastern areas, began recording second children as comprising more than half of local newborns,” he added.
Yang expected that by 2020, the number of new births each year would stand between 17 to 20 million in China, citing expert estimations.