China permits {couples} to have three kids

Beijing, May 31

China’s ruling Communist Party will ease birth limits to allow all couples to have three children instead of two to cope with the rapid rise in the average age of its population, a state news agency said on Monday.

The ruling party has enforced birth limits since 1980 to restrain population growth but worries the number of working-age people is falling too fast, while the share over age 65 is rising, adding to strains on the economy and society. A meeting of the party’s Politburo on Monday decided that China would introduce major policies and measures to actively deal with the aging population, the Xinhua News Agency said.

It gave no details on when or how the change would be carried out. China’s population of 1.4 billion already was expected to peak later this decade and start to decline. Census data released on May 11 suggest it is happening faster than expected, straining underfunded pension and health systems and cutting the number of future workers available to support a growing retiree group.

The share of working-age people (15 to 59 years) in the population fell to 63.3 per cent last year from 70.1 per cent a decade earlier, according to the census data. — AP

Easing birth limits

  • Restrictions that limited most couples to one child were eased in 2015 to allow all to have two
  • After a brief rise the next year, births declined

Figures over 10 yrs

  • 15 to 59 yrs: 63.3% from 70.1%
  • 65 and above: 13.5% from 8.9%

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