China introduces new policies as birth rate continues to fall

China introduces new policies as birth rate continues to fall

The number rose to 240 million in 2021, 1.5 times what it was in 2012.

China has been facing a steady fall in its birth rates since 2017. To encourage balanced long-term population development in the face of the decline, Chinese authorities have now released a guideline outlining a number of policies for prenatal and postnatal support.

According to a report by the Xinhua news agency, the National Health Commission's guideline includes solutions like enhanced maternity care services, public-benefit childcare, improved maternity, parental leave regulations, preferential housing & tax policies and the promotion of workplaces that support fertility.

Despite easing the "one-child policy" in an effort to stave off an impending demographic disaster, China's birth rate has been declining since 2017.

China's mainland population increased by 0.53 per cent yearly on average over the previous ten years, according to the country's seventh nationwide census, which was conducted in 2020.

The recently announced guidelines also state that local governments may look into how to extend maternity insurance coverage to include workers in flexible employment, reported ANI. Maternity insurance has become more widely available in China in recent years. The number rose to 240 million in 2021, 1.5 times what it was in 2012.

Beijing passed a new Population and Family Planning Law last year, reportedly in response to Chinese couples' reluctance to have more children due to escalating costs.

China introduces new policies as birth rate continues to fall
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This law permits Chinese couples to have three children and was put into effect after the once-every-ten-year census in 2020 revealed that China's population increased at the slowest rate in history, reaching 1.412 billion people.

However, in spite of all the policies, as the population of persons over 60 in China climbed by 18.7 per cent to 264 million, the country's demographic problem is expected to get worse.

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