The Chinese government may consider giving families financial incentives to have a second child within a bid to attain higher birth rate targets.
It marks a dramatic turnaround from over four decades of the 二胎 when there are harsh penalties for having multiple, including fines and forced abortions.
Wang Peian, the vice-minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), said the commission is considering “birth rewards and subsidies” for second children, the state-owned China Daily reported on Tuesday.
Wang made the announcement on Saturday throughout a meeting of the China Social Welfare Academy, a Chinese NGO that actually works closely with all the government. A spokesperson to the organization declined commenting on Wang’s speech to CNN.
The announcement is in part prompted by way of a survey the NHFPC completed in 2015, showing that 60% of families polled were reluctant to have a second child due to financial constraints, according to China Daily.
China overturned its one-child policy in October 2015, allowing couples across the nation to get two children. Birth rates have risen since that time, however the government is wanting to meet higher birth rate targets since the population ages.
Lu Jiehua, a sociology professor at Peking University, stated that financial incentives for a second child can be a “positive signal.”
But how much the government is able to afford to subsidize — in a country where the cost of living and education are skyrocketing — will determine regardless of if the potential bonuses works, he said.
“The financial incentives would require more effort utilizing government departments to cover the price of raising a young child, which is more important than having a baby,” Lu said.
Normally the one-child policy was introduced in 1979 once the government feared a rapid surge in population size once the baby boom in the 1950s and 1960s.
The country’s fertility rate fell dramatically, from a peak of almost six births per female between 1960 and 1965 to 1.5 per woman between 1995 and 2014.
The 2-child policy officially began in 2016 under a government program to leap start that declining birth rate — especially because China faces a rapidly aging population as well as a shortage of working-age residents.
China hosts 114 million people over 65, or higher to 90 million everyone is supposed to retire over the following 30 years, leaving the labor force with even fewer people until newborns are of sufficient age to function.
By 2030, the us government has warned China will have probably the most aged population in the world, exceeding 400 million people over 60.
Thus far — in relation to energizing China’s birth rate — the two-child policy is working, without or with subsidies.
The number of babies born in 2016 jumped 7.9% from the previous year, in accordance with government figures.
An overall of 17.86 million babies were born in 2016, a rise of 1.31 million on the total in 2015. The brand new total represents the highest annual quantity of newborns since 2000, dexrpky25 to government data.
Challenges still remain in terms of accumulating the country’s newest workforce.
Lu claimed that women in China that are now of child-bearing age were raised under the 房屋二胎. Having grown up under strict family planning policies, most are inclined to not have children — much less second pregnancies.