China's Second-Child Policy Increases Births In China By 17.86 Million

By Donna Marie Lapena Padua , Jan 23, 2017 08:54 AM EST

China’s second-child policy reportedly brought an increase to the country’s birth rate, recording 17.86 million births in 2016. This notes the country’s highest level of birth rate since the year 2000. China’s second-child policy was issued in 2015 as the country saw potential cost problems in supporting the increasing population of aged citizens.

China has welcomed almost 18 million new children last year which denotes an annual increase of 7.9 percent in the country’s birth rate and the highest level recorded since 2000. According to Yang Wenzhuang of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, the number of newborns increased by 1.31 million from the total births in 2015. Furthermore, 45 percent of the recorded new births were from families who already had their first child which follows China’s relaxing its initial birth policies. Meanwhile, proportion of second births was around only 30 percent before 2013. "It demonstrates that the universal second-child policy (implemented early last year) came in time and worked effectively," Yang said as noted by the Business Standard.

Per report, most of the families from the large cities in the eastern part of the country have recorded their second children which represents the 45 percent portion of the total birth rate of 2016. As per Yang, the number of new births each year might fall between 17 and 20 million more until 2020. According to the Yahoo News, China has strictly followed its one child policy for three decades with violators facing fines and forced abortion. This was until the rule was adjusted in the late 2013. The government then tried to address major demographic challenges including aging and labor shortage.
Following this, couples who had only one child were already allowed to have a second child in the early 2014. China’s second-child policy was then made universal and implementation started as 2016 started. By 2015, the said birthing policy is expected to add 30 million more potential laborers of the right age which in turn will reduce China’s aging rate by two percent.

Although the nation already allowed for more than one birth, a survey in 2015 by the commission found that nearly 75 percent of the respondents were reluctant to have a second baby. The families were reportedly unwilling due to economic burdens. Other major concerns for these people to reject China’s second-child policy were age, parents' career growth, and lack of caregivers.

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