China announced on Monday that married couples could have up to three children. This is a major change from the previous policy that allowed couples with up to two children, which resulted in a dramatic drop in births, in the most populous country in the world, according to a report by the National Bureau of Statistics.
Xinhua News Agency reported that the change was approved during a meeting of the political bureau chaired by President Xi Jinping. For several decades, China allowed couples to have only one child as a means of controlling population growth.
This decision was overturned in 2016, allowing couples to have two children, but even this decision did not bring about a steady increase in births, in part as the high cost of raising children in Chinese cities was a barrier for many couples.
According to the Xinhua news agency, this change will be accompanied bysupport measures, which will be favorable for improving the structure of the population of our country, fulfilling the country’s strategy to actively cope with an aging population”. But support measures for families have not yet been made known.
The announcement brought numerous reactions on Chinese social networks, where many people wrote that they could not raise more than one child.
“I am ready to have three children if you give me 5 million yuan“, Wrote a user on the social network” Weibo “.
Earlier this month, the National Bureau of Statistics released a report stating that over a decade the population in China has grown at the slowest pace since the 1950s, reaching 1.41 billion.
The data also showed that during 2020, the birth rate was only 1.3 children per woman of reproductive age, the same level as aging societies like Japan and Italy.
Also Monday, China’s political bureau said it would raise the retirement age, but gave no further details.