Chinese Birthrates Decline Despite Launch of Two Child Policy

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Birthrates in China posted a modest decline in 2017 despite the official launch of the “Two Child policy” at the start of 2016.

The latest data from National Bureau of Statistics indicates that there were 17.23 million births in China in 2017, for a national birthrate of 12.43%.

These figures mark a modest decline compared to 2016, which saw 17.86 million births for a national birthrate of 12.95%.

Beijing official rescinded its one child policy over two years ago, with the launch of the “Two Child Policy” on 1 January 2016.

The policy did succeed in boosting birthrates in its inaugural year, with 2016 seeing 1.31 million more births than 2015.

NBS spokesperson Xing Zhihong (邢志宏) said to the Beijing Daily that the decline in birthrates in 2017 was due to a reductio in the number of women of reproductive age, especially women at the age of peak fertility.

Xing nonetheless said that the Two Child Policy had proved highly effective at boosting birthrates, with more than 50% of births being those of second children, for an increase of 10 percentage points compared to 2016.

Chen Youhua (陈友华) a professor at the sociology department of Nanjing University, said a key reason for the failure of the new population policies to significantly boost birthrates was low willingness to start a family amongst many Chinese.

“This explains why new births following the introduction of the policy to allow dual single child couples to have two children and the two child policy have fallen well beneath projections.”

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