In a historic announcement yesterday, Chinese state media reported the end to China’s longstanding and controversial one-child policy, allowing couples throughout the country to have two children. Many couples have responded to this news by saying, “Nah, we’re good with just the one.”
In an online survey on Sina News that received 164,106 responses, 43% of those polled said that they would not be having two children. 29% said that they would, while the remaining 28% said they would have to wait and see.
Comments below the online poll followed the general trend of netizens arguing that they simply couldn’t afford to have another kid, while other commenters also agreed with the views of some economists declaring that the change in policy was too little, too late.
“Well, if this policy had been introduced a few years ago it would have been fine, but I’m too old now!” commented one netizen from Hubei.
“Couldn’t afford it,” one web user from Guangdong simply wrote, receiving nearly 4,000 upvotes.
“I’m about to hit menopause, even if I rush to get pregnant, will the child be ok?” worried another netizen from Guangdong.
“If the government pays, then I would consider it,” commented one financially savvy netizen from Shanghai.
Meanwhile, another survey by NetEase News showed the exact same phenomenon with 40% of the 156,781 respondents saying that they would likely not be having a second child due to concerns about time and money.
Another 25% said that they would have to wait until they earned enough money, while just 2% said that they would definitely be able to afford to raise more children.
Earlier, Yuan Xin, a top Chinese population scientist at Nankai University in Tianjin projected that 100 million Chinese couples would be eligible to have a second child under the national two-child policy, providing a much needed boost to China’s rapidly-aging population. Don’t know if 60 millionish is gonna cut it.
The change to a two-child policy has been the most discussed topic on Chinese social media since its announcement. While some bragged that they were going to do their patriotic duty and conceive a child that very night, most said that kind of behavior would simply be too costly.
For the majority of ordinary Chinese families, the expense of raising a second child seems overwhelming. Partly because people have so few kids, prices for everything related to children is relatively high in the cities. The New York Times talked to one mother about what raising a second child would mean for her family:
“Our life would become harder,” Ms. Cai said. “It’s a money thing.”
She ticked off a few expenses.
“We pay about 1,400 renminbi a month for Huhu’s kindergarten,” she said, about $220. “And that’s just the fees. Then there’s extra lessons. He loves art. Swimming is 100 renminbi an hour,” or $16. “Rollerblading. It’s all so expensive. I’d love to have a second child, but I’m afraid of the consequences.”
Welp, guess it’s back to state-sanctioned polyandry.