China May Finally Let Families Have as Many Kids as They Want


China is reportedly planning to lift all limits on the number of children a family can have by the end of the year.

The move puts an end to four decades of a population control scheme that left the country with an aging population and striking gender imbalance.

The decision could be made as early as the fourth quarter, according to sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported. China’s cabinet, the State Council, has already commissioned research on the effects of scrapping the limits.

A proposal under discussion replaces the population control policy with “independent fertility,” which grants families the power to decide on the number of children they want to have.

China introduced the infamous one-child policy in 1979 to counter a booming population and limit demands for economic resources. It was phased out from the end of 2015 and replaced by the two-child policy.

Last year, the State Council estimated that about a quarter of the population will be 60 or older by 2030. It was 13% in 2010.

“The low birth rate and low number of newborns from the previous two years after the two-child policy sent a strong message to the decision-makers that the young generation has a weak willingness to have more children,” said Chen Jian, a former official at the National Family Planning Commission. “China’s population issues will be a major hurdle for President Xi Jinping’s vision of building a modernized country by 2035.”

But controlling the population has also left China with a wide gender gap. Because childbearing is limited, many parents choose to abort female fetuses, perpetuating a culture that has long favored sons over daughters.

Interestingly, an initial feasibility study submitted to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang found that lifting childbirth restrictions would have “limited” benefits. Li reportedly requested for further research on the effects of scrapping the entire policy.

Choose A Format
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Poll
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Story
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
List
The Classic Internet Listicles
Countdown
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Meme
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Video
Youtube, Vimeo or Vine Embeds
Audio
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Image
Photo or GIF
Gif
GIF format