It has officially been one year since the one-child policy was partially rescinded and eligible families were able to have a second child. But young Chinese parents appear to think much like their counterparts in developed western countries: having a second child is just too expensive. In fact, the National Health and Family Planning Committee said just 700,000 families have had a second child since the policy was relaxed.
China’s one child policy has long been seen as an oppressive regulation that infringes on basic human rights, however exceptions to the law have long existed for certain families, such as those from certain areas or belonging to ethnic minorities. Some predicted a baby boom once the policy was lifted on a larger scale, but that hasn’t happened.
A CCTV poll found 30 percent of parents said they are not willing to have a second child because they don’t have enough money. Of those who want to have a second kid, providing companionship for their first born was the top reason for doing so (40 percent).
China’s one-child policy mandated children to have only one child at most, however the relaxation allows any couples with a parent who is an only child to have a second kid.
China’s only-child generation is growing up with some substantial burdens. Without any other siblings, a single child will be responsible for at least four elderly adults who will need care in their old age (father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law).
China’s elderly population is growing fast and putting more demands on social welfare and medical services. In Shanghai, a third of the registered population is classified as elderly.