2 million couples apply for second child in China last year

Beijing: About two million Chinese couples had applied to have a second child last year before the government officially junked its over three and half decades old controversial one-child policy, official media said today.

The government first eased the restriction by allowing a second child for parents, if one of them is an only child.
At the end of 2015, Chinese lawmakers passed a historic legislation allowing all couples to have two children from January 1, 2016 ending its over three and half decades old policy that prevented over 400 million births in the country.

The one-child policy, implemented from 1978, restricted Chinas population to over 1.357 billion as per census in 2013.

Despite massive publicity to the lifting of the one-child policy, the two child rule has evoked less enthusiasm among 100 million qualified couples who are eligible to have second child as they are not keen due to heavy costs involved in bringing up another baby.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission today issued a bulletin saying that 89.2 per cent of the migrant population have access to free family planning.

The commission said the government spent 11.2 billion yuan (USD 1.7 billion) last year on the support of rural households exercising family planning, up by 1.46 billion yuan from 2014 and benefiting over nine million individuals.

China has a population of 1.3 billion, the largest of any country in the world. PTI