Sec­ond-child pol­icy in­creases births by 7.9 per­cent

China Daily (Canada) - - NEWS CAPSULE -

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.

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