Under new rules, Chinese couples are allowed to have a maximum of three children. That is one child more than it is now.
That was decided on Monday in a meeting of the politburo chaired by President Xi Jinping, state news agency Xinhua reported.
The decision responds to the ageing of the Chinese population. In addition, fewer and fewer people are born. Women had an average of 1.3 children in 2020, comparable to the birth rate in ageing countries such as Italy and Japan. 12 million babies were born in China last year, the lowest number since 1961.
In 1979, the one-child policy was introduced in China, which meant that each couple could only have one child. This rule was introduced to prevent the population from overgrowing. This measure came to an end in 2015. Nevertheless, Chinese state media is anticipating a population decline in the coming years.
Insiders told Reuters news agency earlier this month that relaxing children’s rules could have unintended consequences. Due to the high costs, residents of large cities only choose to expand their families to a limited extent. In rural areas, people may opt for larger families, but that can lead to more poverty and unemployment.