Rating agency Moody’s has said that China’s recent policy decision of allowing families to have up to three children could help support fertility, but would not dramatically change its birth rate. China announced its decision to allow families to have up to three children days after the country’s census data showed that its population growth had slipped to its lowest rate since the 1950s.
The country's one-child policy, introduced in 1980 to restrict population growth, was relaxed in 2016 to allow for two children. That has not made much of a difference though - with the high cost involved in raising children, not many couples are opting for a second child.
In 2020, 1.2 crore babies were born in China. This is a fall of 18 per cent from 2019, which saw 1.465 crore births. The total fertility rate (TFR) of childbearing women was 1.3 as per data released by the Country’s National Bureau of Statistics. The TFR is the average number of children, women in a given country are expected to have during their childbearing years.
The country’s falling birth rate and rapidly greying working population are posing a social and economic problem. This is also a major reason why the country decided to drop its previous rigid family planning measures and look at economic and social measures to help couples have more children.
With this low rate, China also joins a list of countries that are at risk of becoming demographic time bombs with a large ageing population and a slowing youth population.
We take a look at countries with the lowest fertility rates: