China's birthrate rises after one-child policy loosened

In this photo taken Jan. 23, 2017, a man lifts a child up to lantern decorations setup ahead of the Chinese New Year in Beijing, China. China's National Health and Family Planning Commission said this week that 17.86 million children were born last year, an increase of 1.31 million from 2015. Nearly half of the children born were to couples who already had a child, the commission said. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

BEIJING — The number of births in China has risen nearly 8 percent in the year after the government loosened its unpopular one-child policy.

China's National Health and Family Planning Commission said this week that 17.86 million children were born last year, an increase of 1.31 million from 2015. Nearly half of the children born were to couples who already had a child, the commission said.

China enacted its one-child policy in 1979 to control population growth, enforced with fines and in some cases state-mandated abortions. But it now faces a rapidly aging workforce and the prospect of not having enough younger workers to support them.

It has gradually allowed more exemptions to the policy, such as allowing rural couples to have a second child if their first was a girl, before moving to let all married couples to have two children beginning in 2016.

The commission acknowledged that families remain reluctant to have a second child for financial reasons, with spiraling real estate costs and the intense demand for places in China's best schools driving many parents to high-priced private institutions.

An increase in births also places pressure on China's already strained health system for pregnant women. The commission said it would aim to train and hire 140,000 maternity health workers "in the coming years," according to state media reports.

You may also interested in

China says 2,500 wartime Japanese chemical...

Jan 17, 2017

China's military says more than 2,500 abandoned Japanese chemical weapons collected from northern...

Lawyers sue Chinese authorities for not getting...

Mar 2, 2017

A group of Chinese lawyers is suing the governments of Beijing and its surrounding areas for not...

Protests mount in China against South Korea's...

Mar 3, 2017

Beijing's escalating condemnation of South Korea over a U.S. anti-missile system has triggered...

AP PHOTOS: Bike-sharing rivalry crowds Beijing's...

Apr 4, 2017

AP PHOTOS: The shiny bicycles in bright orange, yellow or blue are everywhere in China's most...

Executions in China said to outpace world despite...

Apr 11, 2017

China's use of the death penalty remains shrouded in secrecy and outpaces the rest of the world...

About Us

Frontal Report is an emerging leader in all forms of media. We aim to be the leading news brand for readers around the world.

Contact us: sales[at]frontalreport.com

Subscribe Now!