In December 2013, China relaxed its one-child policy and allowed couples to legally have a second child if at least one of the parents is a single child. Previously, both parents had to be only children to qualify. Nonetheless, qualified Shanghainese have proven lukewarm to this idea.
China Daily reports on Fang Hua, of Shanghai’s Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning’s observation that, “90 percent of the city’s women of child-bearing age are allowed to have a second baby, but only 5 percent have submitted applications.”
An earlier China Youth Daily online survey showed that of 2,052 people in 2014, a mere 24.9% of qualified couples submitted applications to have a second child.
While this trend may seem like welcome news to some considering Shanghai’s population density (projected figures: 21.4 million in 2015 and 22.5 million in 2020), in reality China is on the well-trodden path of slower growth and a smaller pool of young workers.
To put this in perspective, the UN predicts the population of young factory workers, between 15-24 years old, in China will decline by 27% to 164 million by 2025. Simultaneously, pensioners over the age of 65 will rise 78 percent to 195 million.
All this brings to mind the question, by 2025, what will Nanjing Road look and feel like?