China sees baby boom of second child but experts say it's only temporary

Updated 2017-08-15 10:08:34 Global Times

Nearly 60 percent of the 7.4 million newborns in China in the first five months of 2017 are the second or third children, and experts said the birth of the second children is set to peak this year after the implementation of the comprehensive two-child policy in October 2015.

Statistics from China's National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) revealed that the second or third children accounted for 57.7 percent of the 7.41 million new births in the first five months of 2017, showing an increase of 8.5 percentage points over the same period in 2016, news site 21jingji.com reported on Monday.

The increase in the birth of the second children shows that a baby boom of the second children would soon arrive as many couples who were restricted by previous regulations decided to have a second child after the implementation of the comprehensive two-child policy, Wang Guangzhou, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday.

Wang also said that the birth of the second children may decline in 2018 after the boom.

China allowed all couples to have two children, abandoning its decades-long one-child policy, in an effort to balance population development and address the challenge of an ageing population, according to a communiqué issued after the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee in October 2015.

The NHFPC revealed that in 2016, more than 18.46 million babies were born in hospitals nationwide.

Although the number of the second children born in the first half of 2017 is yet to be revealed, experts said that the number will continue to grow, 21jingji.com reported.

"The population of newborns would increase but not sharply … the fertility rate is in a reasonable range … and a decline in the birth rate is the general trend," Wang Jinying, an expert from the China Population Association, was quoted by 21jingji.com as saying.

Experts also urged local governments to implement family planning policies, including providing longer maternity leave to encourage more couples to have a second child, 21jingji.com reported.

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