May 31, 2021 07:26 PM

China Decides Couples Can Have Three Children


What’s new: China has decided to let couples have up to three children, a significant change to the country’s family planning policy after the latest national census showed a low fertility rate under the current “two-child policy.”

The Politburo made the decision Monday during a meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

The decision aims to optimize the family planning policy with supportive measures in an effort to improve China’s demographic structure, respond to the aging population and maintain the country’s “human resources advantages,” Xinhua reported. It did not say when the change would take effect.

The background: Earlier this month, the world’s most populous country released its seventh national census results, showing China had registered 1.2 million newborns in 2020. That equaled a fertility rate of 1.3 for women of childbearing age, far lower than the expected rate of 1.8.

“The number of women of childbearing age is declining,” said Ning Jizhe, head of the National Bureau of Statistics. He also noted one of the major reasons for the decline is the weakening effects of the two-child policy that started in 2016.

 Read More  
Cover Story: The Challenge of Keeping China From Shrinking

Editorial: The Lessons of China’s Latest Census

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Wang Xintong ( and editor Michael Bellart (

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