China’s Birthrate Rises

China’s  Birthrate Rises China’s  Birthrate Rises

The number of births in China has risen nearly 8% in 2016 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, BBC News Website reported. 

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 since 2016. The commission said increase in births places pressure on China’s already strained health system for pregnant women, and it would train and hire 140,000 maternity health workers “in the coming years.”

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