China will allow couples to have up to three children after recent data showed a steep decline in births.
The major policy shift follows almost 5 years after China scrapped its decades-old one-child policy, allowing the couples to have up to two children.
The replacement of the one-child policy apparently failed due to rising cost of raising children in majority cities of China.
However, the latest change, approved by President Xi Jinping at a top meeting of Communist Party officials, comes with ‘supportive measures’, according to local media reports.
The Xinhua News Agency reported that the change will come with ‘supportive measures, which will be conducive to improving our country’s population structure, fulfilling the country’s strategy of actively coping with an ageing population and maintaining the advantage, endowment of human resources.’
China will lower educational costs for families, step up tax and housing support, guarantee the legal interests of working women and clamp down on “sky-high” dowries as part of the supportive measures announced on Monday.
This comes as China released the latest census data this month, reporting that around 12 million babies were born in 2020.
The decrease is considered as significant and the lowest number recorded since the 1960s.