Last Updated: May 15, 2023, 12:02 IST
Beijing has seen its birth rates drop for the first time since 2013. Birth rates across China has fallen and its natural population growth is being pushed into negative territory (Image: Reuters)
The project will focus on promoting marriages, having children at appropriate ages, encouraging parents to share child-rearing responsibilities and curbing high ‘bride prices’
In a move to boost the country’s falling birth rate, China will launch pilot projects in over 20 cities to create a “new-era” marriage and childbearing culture to foster a friendly child bearing environment.
China’s Family Planning Association, Beijing’s national body that implements population and fertility measures, will launch the projects to encourage women to marry and have children, Reuters quoted Global Times report as saying.
The report said that project will focus on promoting marriages, having children at appropriate ages, encouraging parents to share child-rearing responsibilities, and curbing high “bride prices”.
The project will be implemented in cities including the manufacturing hub Guangzhou and Handan in China’s Hebei province.
The projects have already been launched in 20 cities including Beijing last year, the Times said.
“The society needs to guide young people more on the concept of marriage and childbirth,” demographer He Yafu reportedly said.
The projects come amid a series of measures Chinese government is rolling out to spur people to have children including tax incentives, housing subsidies and subsidies for having a third children.
Recently, several Chinese colleges have also come up with a unique plan to send the students on a weeklong vacation to find love in April to reverse the declining birth rate.
The schools, run by the Fan Mei Education Group, last month announced that they are going on a break from April 1 to 7 and tasked students with enjoying themselves to boost marriage rates.
Local companies, provinces, and townships have been experimenting with ways to get people to marry, like offering 30 days of “marriage leave” or launching campaigns asking city women to date rural older bachelors.
China is facing a looming demographic crisis as its workforce ages, which analysts warn could stymie economic growth and pile pressure on strained public coffers.
The country’s population shrank in 2022 for the first time in more than six decades. The Chinese population could decline each year by 1.1 percent on average, according to a study by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, AFP reported.
China implemented a rigid one-child policy from 1980 until 2015 – the root of many of its demographic challenges that have allowed India to become the world’s most populous nation. The limit has since been raised to three children.
China could have only 587 million inhabitants in 2100, less than half of today, according to the most pessimistic projections of that team of demographers.
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