What is the matter of boosting birth rate?

At a time when our planet is bursting at the seams with population explosion, there are countries which are trying to boost their birth rate. For instance, China recently announced a slew of measures aimed at encouraging families to have more babies. Why? Come, let’s find out.

China, the country with the population in the world, has been faced with a demographic (relating to the structure of a population comprising different age groups) crisis. Chinese officials have warned that the size of the population will begin to shrink by the year 2025. But what are the factors responsible for this? Low birth rates, higher cost of living, people’s preference for smaller families, a rapidly ageing workforce, and slowing economy have been cited as the reasons.

When birth rates fall, it will lead to demographic imbalance, rise in older population, reduction of population size, and labour shortage in the the long term, affecting a country’s growth and economy.

Faced with falling birth rates over the past few years, China has announced several perks to boost its birth rate. Can you believe the country had a strict “one-child rule” till a few years ago? The policy guidelines issued by China’s National Health Commission urge the central and local governments to enhance spending on reproductive health, and improve childcare services across the country. The measures to boost birth rate include offering subsidies, tax rebates, better health insurance, education, housing and employment support for young families, and family-friendly workplaces. Did you know some Chinese cities have been offering cash incentives to encourage women to have more children? Now all provinces are required to ensure enough nurseries for children aged two to three by the end of the year to address shortage of childcare services.

According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics data, the country’s birth rate slipped to 7.52 births per 1,000 people in 2021, which is the lowest since records began to be kept in 1949.

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