Nation should redouble efforts to boost fertility rate

BEIJING: China’s fertility rate is on a downward trend and the average family size has been shrinking over the years, a senior official said on Saturday, calling for comprehensive measures to encourage marriage and childbearing.
Data shows that there was 2.62 people per family in China in 2020, down by 0.48 from 2010, according to Wang Pei’an, deputy director of the China Family Planning Association.
“Currently, the perspective on marriage and starting a family among young generations is changing, and the trend toward having smaller families is becoming more obvious,” he remarked at the third China Population and Development Forum held in Beijing.
The shift has resulted in delays in marriage, having children and even a resistance of such rituals, which he said is the primary reason for China’s declining fertility level. A survey shows that women planned to have 1.64 babies in 2021, down from 1.76 in 2017. For people born in the 1990s and 2000s, their ideal number of babies was only 1.54 and 1.48 respectively.
Furthermore, the percentage of women who have no children over their lifetime increased from 6.1 percent in 2015 to 10 percent in 2020.
“A survey shows that less than 70 percent of women aged 35 and under agree that a life with children is complete,” he said, adding that given the low fertility rate in China, it would be extremely difficult to raise the fertility without strengthened efforts to foster a longing for marriage and family.
Wang suggested devoting more efforts to the promotion of getting married and having children at proper ages and sharing family responsibilities between men and women.
–The Daily Mail-China Daily news exchange item