New Delhi (NVI): China, the world’s most populous country, today relaxed its family planning policy and announced that each couple can now have up to three children.
The major shift in policy from the existing limit of two children came after recent data showed a dramatic decline in births.
The change was approved during a politburo meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping, Chinese official news agency Xinhua reported.
To further optimise the birth policy, (China) will implement one married couple can have-three children policy,” it said.
In 2016, China scrapped its decades-old one-child policy, that was initially imposed to halt a population explosion, with a two-child limit, which failed to result in a sustained surge in births as the high cost of raising children in Chinese cities deterred many couples from starting families.
Early this month, China’s once-in-a-decade census showed that the population grew at its slowest rate during the last decade since the 1950s, with data showing a fertility rate of 1.3 children per woman for 2020 alone, on par with ageing societies like Japan and Italy.
The policy change will come with “supportive measures, which will be conducive to improving our country’s population structure, fulfilling the country’s strategy of actively coping with an ageing population and maintaining the advantage, endowment of human resources”, Xinhua said.