Shanghai Embraces Two-Child Policy

Shanghai officials June 23 announced they were mounting a campaign to encourage couples to have two children instead of one. The policy applies to couples where each party is a single child. Since the fertility rate in Shanghai is 0.8 percent and has been very low for many years, most new marriages are between men and women who have no siblings and, thus, are eligible for the new two-child policy.

The allowance for couples to have two children if each had been an only child was actually adopted in 2004. It generated a modest boost in the low birth rate but not enough to reach goals for overall births set by officials. By embracing and encouraging couples to have two-children, Shanghai has officially moved beyond the one-child policy to a two-child policy. The idea of having more children is a policy aimed at addressing the problems posed by an aging population in Shanghai, which now has nearly 22 percent of its population 60 and over.

See story from China Daily in Beijing at this link:

See story from the London Telegraph at this link:

Listen to Internet audio segment from BBC on "Shanghai two child policy" at this link:

Robert Stowe England's book Aging China: The Demographic Challenge to China's Economic Prospects can be ordered at this link:

See recent report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, titled China's Long March to Retirement Reform: The Graying of the Middle Kingdom Revisited by Keisuke Nakashima, Neil Howe, Richard Jackson, published April 22, 2009, and available at this link:

Shanghai previously made some steps to loosen its one-child policy in 2004. See story at this link:

Copyright © 2009 by Robert Stowe England


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