China amended One Couple, One Child Policy

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Who: One Couple, One Child Policy
What: Amended by China
When: 27 December 2015
Why: To balance the country’s population structure

China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee, country’s top law making body, on 27 December 2015 gave its approval to amending One Couple, One Child Policy. The amended policy, which will comeinto force on 1 January 2016, will lift the restrictions on couples from having only one child.

The amended policy is aimed at balancing the country’s population structure by allowing all couples to have two children.

The amendment came after the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on 29 October 2015 issued a communiqué in this regard.

The overhaul of the policy is in continuation of gradual relaxation of the policy in recent years. In 2013, couples were allowed to have a second child if either parent was an only child.

Why China abandoned One Couple, One Child Policy

The controversial One Couple, One Child Policy took effect in 2002 to help stabilize birth rate that had decreased since the family planning policy was introduced in the 1970s.

The policy is estimated to have prevented some 400 million births, reducing pressure on resources and the environment.

Nevertheless, the policy attracted criticism as it resulted in a number of social problems, mainly the decreasing labor force and aging population.

Now, over 15 percent of the population is over 60 years old and the working-age population has started to decrease.

Benefits to China

As per an estimate, China has 140 million women of child-bearing age who have already raised a child. After the new law is adopted, about 90 million of them are expected to have a second child.

Further, the policy will mean total population with a peak around 1.45 billion in 2029 and is expected to result over 30 million more people in the labor force by 2050.