years— it will be very pressurized, and I will need to work even harder to earn more money,” Luo said, with a smile.
“But, weare lucky enough to have three children — this is the greatest thing ever.”
Their bittersweet comments are a luxury that fewfamilies in China can afford, because the country is aging fast.
There are 1.3 billion people in China, and more than 220 million people, about 16 percent of the population, are age 60 and older. That figure set to rise to more than 400 million by 2033, according to the ChinaNationalWorking Commission on Aging. If nothing changes, by 2050, one-third of the country’s population will be senior citizens.
The relaxation of the national policy on family planning in January last year, which effectively allowed every family to have two children, was intended to tackle the long-term problem.
However, it will take time until the benefits become obvious.
A recent report, jointly conducted by the All ChinaWomen’s Federation and Beijing Normal University, found that more than 50 percent of Chinese parents do not want a second child, while a further 25 percent are hesitant about expanding their families.
Some factors were omitted to make the report more concise, but they also play an important role when parents are considering whether to have a second child, according to Wang Yun, a professor of child development at Beijing NormalUniversitywholed the research team.
They are objective conditions — such as how many houses or apartments a family owns, how manycarstheyhaveandwhether the children will have rooms to themselves, she added.
“Obviously, the more you have, the more you are capable of raising a second child,” she said.
However, there are also other, less obvious, concerns, such as how people feel about their financial circumstances. That is far less tangible and measurable, because many people in Beijing, where average incomes are the highest in the country, feel they are not welloff, a feeling derived in part from fierce peer pressure and the excessive portrayal of the wealthy in some sections of the media.
“This subjective feeling can Top three reasons for having a second child First child’s attitude toward their sibling
Affect the second child has on first-born Preferred methods of learning about parenting play an equally important role as objective conditions in families’ decisions, if not more so in some instances,” Wang said.
She suggested that the government should provide more public resources, such as easier access to childcare services, education and medical treatments, to make people feel more comfortable with the idea of having a second child.
“It’s not the second baby that traps people at home during the holidays— it’s the lack of public services,” Wang said.
Contact the writers at chenmengwei@ chinadaily.com.cn and email@example.com Top three problems