Can Two-child Policy Fix Aging Problem in China?

Last year, Chinese government announced the two-child policy. Most social medias and newspaper reports indicates that this is aimed at solving the coming aging problem in the future 20 years, which has a huge impact on sustainability.

Two-child policy alone can't fix aging problem

Back to the Culture Revolution, Chairman Mao called on people to have more children. And that period of time was a huge population explosion. Therefore, in order to control population, the country started one-child policy at 1970s.Then during 1970s – 2000s, most children are the only child at home(include myself). But now, even through China still has 1.3B population, we are facing a serious aging problem. (This looks like a big cycle.) Chinese government hope the two-child policy can add 30M workers in the future 20 years, which helps to balance the work market.

However, can two-child policy work as we thought? Probably Not.

There is already a reform on 1984 to allow some families have second children. Those qualified families are people who are high-educated, with the ability to afford another children. This means that the population who are most likely to have a second child are already have the permit. Even more, at the end of 2013, the government started to give permit to family if one of them was the only child of his/her parents. However, from the recently research, there is only limited impact of the last national reform. They assumed 10-12 million extra births were anticipated over three-to-four years as a result of this reform, about 1 million couples had applied to have a second child by the end of 2014. Of these, less than half a million births actually transpired.

So, why? Actually, the biggest problem is the high cost to have a child in China now. People live in the big cities now have huge pressure. Even they want to have a second child, the reality situation doesn’r allow them to do so. People care about high costs of education and housing relative to incomes. Women think about the impact on career development, etc.

From my perspective, there is a long way for China to solve it’s aging problem. Just like lots of other countries. But I still think the two-child policy is a good try. It’s better than do nothing, right?







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