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Baby loans in China

Date: 27 December 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The Jilin province in northeast China is offering married couple loans up to $31,000 in order to incentivise them to have kids.

 

Background

Data has shown that China’s population is declining fast. If the same trend continues, the country will soon witness an ageing population.

 

Details

  • The latest census data of China showed that population growth slipped to its slowest rate since the 1950s.

  • The government has decided to relax its two-child policy in order to encourage couples to have more children.

 

The current situation

  • The demographic situation in provinces such as Jilin, Liaoning and Heilongjiang are concerning. Many people have migrated to other provinces for work and couples have been deferring marriage.

  • The population of the region has fallen by 10.3 percent in 2020 in comparison to 2010. In Jilin province, the fall is 12.7%.

 

Significance of the move

  • China has the highest population in the world. The government has been trying to make its economy more reliant on domestic consumption.

  • In absence of high population, China will have to focus more on its export industry to boost its economy.

 

The impact of one-child policy

  • Former leader Deng Xiaoping imposed the one-child policy in 1980 and remained until 2016 when it was removed amidst fear of ageing population.

  • The move allowed growth of young populations but could not turn around the situation significantly. This forced the government to bring in the three-child policy.

  • People are skeptical that three-child policy will give desired results as factors such as higher cost of living and long working hours are discouraging couples from having children.

  • There has been a cultural shift in society during the one-child policy era. Couples no longer want more than one child. The change is more visible in urban areas.

 

Enforcement of one-child policy

  • The government imposed one-child policy strictly in urban areas. Moves such as incentivising financially to have one child, making contraceptives easily available, and imposing sanctions for violation of the policy were carried out.

  • The state also used brutal tactics such as sterilization and forced abortions to implement the one-child limit. There were criticisms about violation of human rights.