fredag 17. mars 2023

What China’s baby woes mean for its economic ambitions

Crystal, who wished to withhold her real name, is a 26-year-old living in Beijing. Unlike most women from previous generations in China, she is unmarried and currently faces no pressure to tie the knot. When asked why that is, she laughs: "I think it's because my family members are either never married or divorced."

It appears to be a common sentiment among young urban women in China. A 2021 survey by China's Communist Youth League of almost 3,000 people between the ages of 18 and 26, found that more than 40% of young women living in cities did not plan to marry - compared to less than 25% of men. This is in part due to rising childcare costs and the ghosts of China's one-child policy. "Having just one child or no children has become the social norm in China," says Yi Fuxian, a senior scientist in obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a prominent critic of the one-child policy. "The economy, social environment, education and almost everything else relates back to the one-child policy," he adds.