China believes that their new “two child policy” is a success as the birth rate in the country continues to rise.
In 2015, China issued a new policy which allows parents to have two children instead of one. This comes in response to their growing and aging population, declining workforce and the government’s worry about the cost of taking care of the elderly.
According to Business Insider, Yang Wenzhuang of the National Health and Family Planning Commission concluded that the new “two child policy” is “extremely timely and extremely effective” despite the number of women of childbearing age falling by 5 million.
The new policy has so far resulted in China’s highest birth rate since 2000 with around 17.6 million new births that were recorded in 2016. The number is up by 1.4 million compared to the data gathered from 2011-2015 data.
In 1970, China implemented the controversial “one child policy” out of fear of not being able to sustain a rapidly increasing population. Now, the government is weary that their current workforce will not be able to support the aging population.
With the new policy in place, China hopes to increase their population by 17 to 20 million people per year. In fact, the country has already made adjustments and provisions to make sure that hospitals can accommodate births as they come, according to Asian Correspondent.
The number of child births in China is expected to grow even more in 2017 and 2018 according to demographer Yan Xin of Nankai University. The estimates assume that women born in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s will rush to have a second child before they get too old.
“We believe those who are eligible for the universal two-child policy have not given birth to a second child yet because the change started only early last year,” said Yuan.