China is going to loosen the one-child population policy (Chinese: 独生子女政策), allowing couples to have two children if one of them is an only child.

Formerly, only couples who are both from one-child family are able to have a second child as couples whose first child has a non-inherited disability.

In rural areas, couples are already allowed to have a second child if the first is a girl.

The one-child policy came into force in the late 1970s and the nation’s birth rate has since dropped to a very low level.

Based on the 2010 national census, national total fertility, or the number of children a woman will deliver in her lifetime, was just 1.18, half the international level and lower than developed countries’ 1.7.

In large cities like Shanghai, the rate was 0.88, according to the census.

Population experts have long been calling for Chinese government to ease the country’s family planning rules(Chinese: 计划生育政策).

Maintaining that allowing more couples to have a second child wouldn’t lead to a population explosion, but rather help to improve the population structure and support sustainable development in the nation.

Source: Xinhua/Shanghai Daily