Despite changes being made to the family planning laws of China in 2013, allowing couples to apply for the right to give birth to more than one child, the country’s birth rate is still extremely low. According to a recent article in The Guardian, this is something that may damage China’s economy as the pension system will be strained with an aging population.
Only 5 % of Shanghai’s eligible women of child-bearing age have applied for second child rights since the changes were made. One of the reasons why couples today are hesitant to extending their family to more than one child may be the rising costs of education, housing and other necessities.
The family planning commission is now urging couples to have more children in order to have a balanced population with young generations that can support the growing numbers of elderly people. But according to some experts, the new system was applied too late and should have instead been enforced ten years ago to avoid generation gaps.
China has one of the lowest birth rates of developing countries, and another problem is that far more boys are being born than girls. This is an effect of many female fetuses being aborted, making the male population 20 % larger.