Birth rate set to con­tinue de­cline, de­spite two-child pol­icy

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE num­ber of births in China is ex­pected to con­tinue to fall this year, the third year of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a na­tional pol­icy de­signed to en­cour­age cou­ples to have a sec­ond child, ac­cord­ing to pres­i­dent of the China Pop­u­la­tion As­so­ci­a­tion.

“The num­ber of peo­ple born will un­doubt­edly con­tinue to fall this year, as well as over the next few years,” Zhai Zhenwu, who is also a prom­i­nent pro­fes­sor in pop­u­la­tion stud­ies in Ren­min Uni­ver­sity of China, said.

Zhai, pres­i­dent of the China Pop­u­la­tion As­so­ci­a­tion, said a ma­jor rea­son for the de­clin­ing birth rate is the rapidly de­creas­ing num­ber of women of child­bear­ing age, which has kept go­ing down by be­tween 5 mil­lion and 6 mil­lion ev­ery year.

“So even if the birth ra­tio re­mains the same, the to­tal num­ber of peo­ple born will keep de­creas­ing,” he said.

An­other rea­son for the ex­pected de­cline of births is that many women who planned to have a sec­ond child rushed to get pregnant and give birth in the first sev­eral years of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pol­icy, and the peak in births will be over soon, Zhai said.

How­ever, Zhai said the uni­ver­sal sec­ond child pol­icy has helped to in­crease the birth rate, and the num­ber of sec­ond chil­dren born in China has ac­counted for about half of all the births in China last year.

“With­out the uni­ver­sal sec­ond child pol­icy, the num­ber of births would see a more dras­tic fall,” he said.

Zhai sug­gested cre­at­ing a more friendly en­vi­ron­ment for cou­ples to give birth, such as es­tab­lish­ing more nurs­eries for in­fants, to en­cour­age the birth of a sec­ond child.

Photo: VCG

A mother and her two chil­dren.

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