The repeal of China’s one-child policy isn’t mattering very much

Crude birth rates in Guangxi and Gansu edged down in 2016 from a year earlier. Both poor, western provinces have a large share of ethnic minorities, who were already exempt from the one-child policy, but are now assimilating the low-birth habits of the richer ethnic Han majority.

More surprising are the minuscule birth rate increases in China’s heartland. In Jiangxi province, the birth rate ticked up from 13.2 births per 1,000 people in 2015 to 13.45 last year, while in central Shaanxi province the rate rose from 10.1 to 10.64. The overall number of women of childbearing age has declined, meaning the potential impact of looser policy is limited, but changing social norms also play a role.

Here is more from Gabriel Wildau in the FT.


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