According to a Chinese family planning expert, China should increase incentives for people to start families and increase the birth rate because the now-falling population could endanger the second-largest economy in the world.
Mainland The government announced last month that China’s population dropped by 850,000 last year, the first decrease since 1961, to 1.42 billion, potentially losing the top spot to India and marking the beginning of a protracted decline that will have a significant impact on both China’s economy and the rest of the world.
More tax incentives based on the family unit should be developed, according to Wang Peian, deputy director of the China Family Planning Association, on Saturday. This could encourage births.
Wang mentioned a growing trend among younger generations to put off having children while speaking at the third Chinese and Development Forum in Beijing. He demanded additional family-friendly incentives in the areas of work, healthcare, social security, and housing.
Between 1980 and 2015, the government imposed a one-child policy on families in a large portion of the nation. However, as the population is now declining, the government is frantically trying to increase the birth rate.
Health officials advocate for more supportive policies, citing issues like younger women concentrating on professions and concerns about costs.
A survey reported by state broadcaster CCTV found that the average Chinese household shrank to 2.62 people in 2020, a fall of 0.48 from 2010.
Women born in the 1990s believed 1.54 children was the best amount to have, compared to 1.19 for those born in the 2000s, according to a poll conducted in 2021. From 6.1% in 2015, the proportion of women who had never given birth increased to almost 10% in 2020.
The degree of maternity protection in China is still relatively low, according to Wang, who also noted that it would be very difficult to increase fertility rates without making an effort to create a demand for marriage and children.
According to CCTV, the average age of first marriage increased from 22 in the 1980s to 26.3 in 2020, while the age of first childbearing was postponed to 27.2 years.
Wang cited a survey conducted in 2021 by the China Population and Development Research Center, which revealed that less than 70% of women under the age of 35 believed having children was the only way to have a fulfilled life.