In the last few hours, the Chinese executive’s decision which authorized families to have up to three children has made headlines.
A provision that is difficult to understand without contextualizing everything in a country back from the so-called one child policy, which from 1979 to 2013 remained in force as a birth control measure and counteracting population growth.
A limit later identified in a maximum of two children, and now revised again, with the explicit recommendation of the government to couples: have more children.
A choice that follows the evidence of a serious demographic decline, with data showing one population of working age reduced to the bone in the last 10 years, while on the other hand the over 65s are now the predominant part of the country, with all the inevitable repercussions on the production phase and therefore on the economy of Beijing.
But what does the Chinese population think? He manifests all his skepticism, to put it simply, and there is no lack of reasons behind it.
China, population against government: it is impossible to keep more children
More and more observers, even within the same country, point out that for many Chinese, government restrictions have long ceased to be the main reason for not having more children.
The announcement by the central government, which extended the maximum ceiling for a couple to three children, generated a real cyclone of discussions and controversies, especially among social networks.
The substance of the discussions is that in modern China it results very impractical and easy from an economic point of view to go on even with only one child, let alone with three.
More than 30,000 people interviewed by a Xinhua State News Agency survey they said they are unwilling to have more children in the wake of the new government policy.
After a few minutes online, the survey has been removed.
But it highlights some elements of Chinese everyday life that are difficult to obscure, such as high costs of education e insufficient support measures, both from the point of view of maternity leave and retirement.
Already the first easing of the so-called one-child policy – that is when the limit was raised to two children in 2013 – did little to stop the decline in births and prevent the population, which counts about 1.4 billion people, to age rapidly.
Reverse the “demographic decline”?
The new measures and consequent recommendations coming from the Chinese government follow data showing a population of working age reduced to the bone in the last 10 years, against over 65 now to represent the leading age group in the country.
Hence the need for unlock births and to give a hand to an increasingly restricted production age group, with all the inevitable consequences for the country on an economic level.
But it is a policy that the Chinese economist Rory Green he defined “Totally inadequate to reverse the demographic decline”:
“It is structural changes such as better access to childcare and more guarantees in terms of subsidies to prove to be much more important than simply removing a numerical limit in relation to the children you may have “,
And this is certainly not a new or little shared point of view, given that the majority of the Chinese population highlights the practical and economic difficulties that families with children encounter in their daily lives.