Since skipping its one child policy, China has seen its 2016 birth number rise to 18.46 million. The National Health and Family Planning Commission says this is the highest number in 17 years, but the numbers are still below previous estimates. The births will not be able to prevent China’s work force from shrinking.
According to China’s health authority, the number of births was 11.5 per cent higher than 2015. China’s family planning agency had estimated that allowing every Chinese couple to have two babies could push annual new births up to 20 million.
After President Xi Jinping came to power in 2013, China allowed couples to have two children as long as one parent was an only child. The new policy resulted in a sharp increase of the number of newborns.
CNBC quotes demographer Yuan Xin, of Nankai University, who estimated that the number of annual births will probably peak in 2017 and 2018 at about 20 million, as women born in the late 1970s and early 1980s rushed to have a second child before they grew too old.
Further reading on SCMP