Thursday, November 19, 2015

China To Allow Two Children Per Couple

Back in 1979, China introduced a one-child-per-couple policy in order to curb what it saw as too high a rate of population growth. The country offered government subsidies for only the first child; levied fines for having more than one child; in some cases even resorted to sterilizations and forced abortions in an effort to enforce the rule. The policy was so effective that by 2000 the national fertility rate was only 1.5, well below the fertility rate of 2.1 at which a population stabilizes. Even worse, the policy has led to a newborn sex ratio of 116 boys to 100 girls; if they are only allowed to have one child, most Chinese couples would prefer that it be a boy.

In recent years China has begun to realize that the country will face a shortage of workers to support an aging population if current trends continued. In 2013 China relaxed the one-child policy somewhat by allowing people who were an only child to have a second child. And last month, China revised its policy to allow all couples to have two children, according to a CNN news article. However, it may be a case of too little, too late; even if the fertility rate does rise to 2.0 by 2050, the overall population will rise increase only 2% - hardly enough to take care of all those over-65 retired people.

One thing the new policy may do, however, is reverse the trend toward an over-abundance of male children. And that may ultimately improve marriage prospects for young Chinese males, who currently find it hard to find a suitable mate.

No comments: