mandag 14. juni 2021

Can China boost its birth rate by adopting the Nordic position? Scandinavian baby-making secrets may need a change in mindset

With China’s recent announcement of a three-child policy to increase its fertility rate, some Chinese analysts and social commentators have cited the relative success of Nordic countries in raising birth rates. But while efforts by Scandinavian states in boosting fertility have occasionally been successful, the number of births in these countries has declined in recent years, highlighting the difficulties of sustaining population growth in many advanced economies.

Population experts also point out that some Nordic policies aimed at increasing births may not be easily replicable in China as many of these are also aimed at achieving other social goals such as ensuring gender equality. Cultural factors also play a role, and these too must change and evolve in China if the country hopes to encourage its citizens to have more babies, the experts added.

On May 31, China announced it will allow couples to have up to three children, after census data showed a steep decline in birth rates. In 2016, the country scrapped its decades-old policy of only allowing one child, replacing it with a two-child limit which has failed to lead to a sustained upsurge in births. However, the cost of raising children, especially in large cities, has deterred many Chinese couples. Analysts said Beijing should put in place sufficient incentives for people to have larger families, such as providing greater tax relief, housing support and affordable education.