Nearly one million couples have applied to give birth to a second child since China formally eased its one-child policy almost a year ago.
The new policy permits couples to have two kids as long as one of the parents is an only child. According to the old policy, both parents were required to be an only child.
Xinhua reports that the number of applications is “in line” with estimates of less than two million annually, as made by the country’s National Health and Family Planning commission.
A recent survey from the Beijing Health and Family Planning Commission showed that 30,305 couples in Beijing, around 6.7 of those eligable, applied to have a second child by the end of last year. A total of 28,778 were approved.
In Liuzhou city, 20 percent of eligible families applied by the end of last year and in rural Anhui, a mere 12 percent applied, according to China Youth Daily.
In Shanghai, only 15,000 couples have applied for a second child over the past five years, although around half of the couples in the city previously expressed the desire to have a second kid.
It’s believed that many young couples in big cities shy away from the idea of having a second child due to the high costs. Jiang Yonping, a researcher from the Women’s Studies Institute of China who was cited in a CRI report, added that giving birth and raising children can have negative impacts on a woman’s career, leading some mothers in highly competitive cities to opt out.