Northeast China province considers offering benefits to families who have second child
Northeast China's Liaoning Province is contemplating policies to offer benefits to couples who have a second child in a bid to encourage more births.
The provincial government will explore enacting policies to reward families who choose to have a second child to alleviate the burden in bearing and raising children, according to a guideline released late last month.
It said the government is also considering preferential policies in taxes, education, social welfare and housing for families who have a second child.
The planned policies are designed to raise the birth rate as the province tackles a dwindling workforce and an aging population.
The population of Liaoning reached 43 million in 2015, up 4.78 percent from 2000, but the provincial government believes that it will be increasingly difficult to maintain optimal population growth.
According to a 2015 survey, only 7.75 percent of parents with one child in Shenyang, the provincial capital, said they would consider having a second child, compared with 62.65 percent who said they would not.
If China's population decreases, it will slow economic growth, reduce demographic dividends and increase the burden on the social welfare system, said He Yixiong, an economist with Dalian Ocean University.
Since 2016, all couples in China have been allowed to have two children, bringing to an end to 40 years of the single child family planning policy.
Despite the policy change, the country's birth rate dropped from 1,295 to 1,243 per 100,000 people in 2017, due to a reduced number of women of childbearing age and the waning inclination of younger women to have a baby, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.