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Looking to the new generation

Updated: 2016-03-09 07:23
By Shan Juan (China Daily)

Demographic changes

Revision of the family planning policy is expected to add at least 30 million people to China's working-age population by 2050, helping the nation to curb a looming labor shortage, Wang told a media briefing in January.

"It's not just a population issue but an economic one as well, and that matters a lot for the nation's overall development," he said.

By 2050, China's labor force ages 15 to 59, which has dwindled continuously since peaking at 940 million in 2012, is predicted to reach 700 million, as a result of the new policy.

"The working-age population has been on a seemingly irreversible downward trend, like the population as a whole, but the universal second-child policy could help to slow that decline," said Yuan Xin, an expert in population studies at Nankai University in Tianjin.

According to demographers, the population will peak at 1.45 billion sometime around 2030, and will then begin to fall. However, the peak would occur two years earlier without the universal second-child policy, he said.

By 2050, the policy will have resulted in an extra 150 million people, bringing the overall population to about 1.38 billion.

"A sustainable supply of human resources is necessary to maintain the nation's economic growth," Yuan said.

"The Chinese people have long made a great contribution to the nation's economic miracle by adhering to the previous family planning policy, which was constantly fine-tuned to assist the overall development strategy," he said.

He urged the provision of financial incentives for couples who decide to have another child, and for those who suffered under the previous policy, particularly parents who lost their only child to disease or accident.

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