Moving away from the One Child Policy, the Chinese government will allow all couples to have a third child to stop the declining birth rate and aging population, which is a risk to the country’s long-term economic prospects. According to the Chinese media, the decision was made following a meeting of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the country. Currently, the birth rate is the lowest in the history of the People’s Republic of China, established in 1949.
“Allowing each couple to have three children and implementing an appropriate support policy will help improve the structure of the population,” the Politburo said at a meeting on Monday. The Politburo also said that China would gradually raise the retirement age.
It is not yet clear when this step will take effect, although the meeting was to discuss the main policy measures that will be implemented in the five-year period that began this year. China is gradually reforming its strict birth rate policy, which for many years limited most families to only one child, and since 2016 – the second child. However, this has hardly changed the decline in birth rates.
The abolition of the one-child birth policy, which had been in effect in China since 1976, only briefly led to an increase in the birth rate in 2016. Since then, the birth rate in China, the world’s most populous country, has been steadily declining. In 2020, China reported a 15% decrease in the birth rate compared to the previous year. At the same time, it is noted that the birth rate is not final, as many babies are not registered in China. Despite the declining birth rate the Chinese population in 2019 reached 1.4 billion, up from 1.39 billion in 2018.
The one child per family policy has also caused a serious imbalance between men and women. In 2019, the number of men in China and 30 million more than women.