Following China’s historic decision last year to drop its infamous one-child policy in favor of a two-child one, some 2 million couples have applied with the health bureau to have that second little bundle of joy.
The long overdue change was announced last October. However, instead of responding with sighs of relief, many couples instead said, “Nah, we’re good with just the one, thanks.”
Meanwhile, the only ones who seemed to show much interest in having a second kid were single people — in a survey conducted by a leading Chinese dating site on the heels of the two-child policy being introduced, 67% of singles said that they’d like to give the policy a try.
Meanwhile, the overall consensus on a Sina poll was that if given the option 43% of couples would forgo having a second child, mostly because of the high cost of raising just a single child in Chinese cities. Considering this fact, some have proposed that government money be used to fund families with two children.
Still, at least some appear to be open to the idea. According to the Global Times, 2 million couples and counting have already rushed out to their local family planning authority office to register to exercise this new privilege. Zhai Zhenwu, chairman of the standing council of the China Population Association, believes this number will reach 5 million over the next few years.
And it certainly will need to if China wants to stave off demographic disaster and fill up all those homes its building. Of course, there is always the polyandry solution to fall back on.
By Robin Winship