• Society
Universal Two-Child Policy: Smiles and New Worries
Text by Wang Shuya


A kindergarten in Shanghai. During each year’s recruiting season, primary and middle schools and kindergartens hire teachers in large numbers, with kindergarten teachers in particularly high demand. IC

On January 1, 2016, China officially abandoned the one-child policy, which had been in place in the country for more than three decades, in favor of a universal “two-child” era, allowing all married couples to have two children. Unexpectedly, a year after the implementation of the new policy, a survey by the All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF) showed that over half of families with one child don’t want a second one.

With responses from 10,000 families with children under 15 years old in 10 provincial-level regions, the survey found that 53.3 percent of families have no desire for a second child. In developed regions and highly-educated groups, the number reaches even higher, to 62 percent. Education, medical resources, healthcare and the living environment are the key factors for most parents when considering a second child.


To Have, or Not to Have?

Ms. Zhang, in her 30s, has lived in Beijing for over 5 years. She and her husband both work for state-owned companies, and they own a 60-square-meter apartment in a good school district near the north fourth ring road. Their only daughter has just entered kindergarten.

The moment the new policy was introduced, Zhang was deeply moved. “There shouldn’t be any debate,” she asserts seriously. “For my daughter’s sake, I should give her a sister or brother. One child is too lonely.” However, after several rounds of family discussions, her firm resolve and fiery passion were dispersed.



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