The end of one child per family in China?

Population and Societies

535, July 2016

In 2015, the Chinese government announced the end of its one-child policy, which had been highly controversial in that country since China’s fertility had become one of the lowest in the world. Will the new “two-child policy” bring fertility back up? Isabelle Attané says it won’t, because of the increasing costs of raising children and the difficulties Chinese women currently have in reconciling family life and a job.

New Chinese policy currently allows couples to have two children. It was introduced in the hope that it would slow population ageing and reduce the skewed sex ratio at birth. It is too soon for its effects on fertility to be measured. But the sharply higher cost of living and insecurity in the labour market, especially for women, are disincentives for most eligible couples to have a second child.

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