PARIS: The end of China’s one-child-per-couple limit last year will not provide the population boost sought by Chinese leaders in the near term, according to a study released on Friday.
Any potential benefits the new “two-child” rule might have for the nation’s shrinking workforce and rapidly ageing population will not be felt for at least two decades, the study concluded.
China is faced with deep demographic challenges thanks to the strict—and sometimes brutal —enforcement of its single child policy, introduced in 1979 at the end of the Mao Zedong era.
The new rules will “allow most people to have their desired number of children and help address the skewed sex ratio,” said Therese Hesketh, a researcher at University College London and co-author of the study, published in The Lancet.
“But the effect on population ageing and the shrinking workforce will take longer to be felt” she said in a statement.
China has 220 million people 60 or older and its workforce is on track to decline by as much as 23 percent by 2050.