China Scrambles To Save Plummeting Birth Rate With Pregnancy Perks

Last month Chinese officials announced that 2022 marked the first drop in total population in six decades, after 9.56 million people were born vs. 10.41 million who died.

Now, the country faces a population decline combined with a long-running rise in life expectancy, which could result in a wide-ranging demographic crisis for the world’s second-largest economy.

In order to counter the plummeting fertility rate, Chinese officials have loosened the country’s one-child policy, and offered incentives for families to reproduce – but nothing has worked.

Some provinces are trying to go further – including one which now encourages people to have as many babies as they want, even if they are unmarried. In most parts of the country, single mothers are denied government benefits often offered to married couples.

In the tech hub city of Hangzhou, home to Alibaba, the government is now giving parents of a third child 20,000 yuan, or $2,900 as a one-off subsidy. A second child will net parents around $720.

In South China, the city of Wenzhou is planning to offer new parents around $400 in subsidies per child, while the northeastern city of Shenyang is offering up to $72 per month until a child is three years old.

In Shanghai and Shanxi, officials have increased the number of paid marriage leave days – time off granted to couples if they get married – from three days to up to 30 days, according to the People’s Daily Health.

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