China announced on Tuesday (16) a series of benefits for families to have more children, due to the fall in the birth rate (an historic low) and the possibility that the population will decrease in 2025, according to the authorities.
Policy guidelines released on Tuesday by the National Health Commission (CNS) urge central and provincial governments to increase spending on reproductive health and improve child care services.
The CNS calls on local governments to “develop active measures to support fertility”, including subsidies, tax cuts, better health plans, as well as support in education, housing and work for young families.
The country’s wealthiest cities provide tax and housing credits, educational benefits and even cash incentives to encourage women to have more children. Along the same path, the latest guidelines seek to pressure the rest of the country to take similar measures.
All provinces will have to ensure that by the end of the year there are enough day care centers for children aged two to three years old, in an attempt to reduce the severe shortage of childcare services.
The most populous country in the world, with more than 1.41 billion inhabitants in 2021 (according to World Bank data), faces an imminent demographic crisis, which threatens its economic growth due to the rapid aging of its working-age population.
Despite Beijing ending its draconian “one-child” policy in 2016 and allowing couples to have three children since last year, birth rates have been falling for five years and the country is expected to experience a population decline starting in 2016. 2025
The total birth rate has dropped below 1.3 children per family in recent years and the country is expected to enter a phase of rapid aging around 2035, with more than 30% of the population over 60, according to the CNS.
The cost of living and cultural changes as people became used to having families with fewer members explain this decline.
The world’s population is expected to reach 8 billion people by November 2022, according to UN projections that point out that India is about to overtake China as the world’s most populous country by 2023.
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