Letu, Anhui province, China, Dec. 2, 2015: The country announced it was scrapping its ‘one-child policy’ in October, but fewer families than expected are opting for a second child (source: dpa)

Two-child policy will not stop China’s demographic decline

With birth rates far below replacement levels, China is facing a demographic crisis. The government’s recent relaxation of the so-called ‘one-child policy’ showed its willingness to tackle the issue. But it will not solve the problem. Economic and social factors are driving the desire to keep families small, writes GIS guest expert Brendan O’Reilly. To keep the greying of China’s population from threatening its long term potential, authorities will need to introduce policies that address the bigger challenges.

In October, the Chinese government announced that it was doing away with its one-child policy, which restricted urban couples of the Han ethnicity to only a single child. Now, i...

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 Brendan O’Reilly
The economic slowdown caused by population decline is also fraught with political risks. The Chinese have come to expect rapidly improving standards of living. Slower economic growth, rising retirement ages and smaller pensions will all contribute to growing frustration
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