China’s legislature formally amended the country’s family planning rules to allow couples to have three children, also announcing a number of policy measures aimed at boosting declining birth rates.
The revised Population and Family Planning Law, which allows Chinese couples to have three children, was passed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC).
In an apparent attempt to address the reluctance of the Chinese couples to have more children due to mounting costs, the amended law has also passed more social and economic support measures to address the concerns.
China permitted all couples to have two children in 2016, scrapping the draconian decades-old one-child policy which policymakers blame for the demographic crisis in the country. Chinese officials claim the one-child policy implemented for over three decades has prevented over 400 million births.
The decision to permit the third child came after this month’s once-in-a-decade census showed that China’s population grew at the slowest pace to 1.412 billion amid official projections that the decline may begin as early as next year. The new census figures revealed that the demographic crisis China faced was expected to deepen as the population of people above 60 years grew to 264 million, up by 18.7 per cent last year.