The baby boom that is coming to China, or not ?

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Rules are changing in China, it seems that one child policy is going to end rather soon, considerable loosening has been already announced by the Chinese leaders.

Why this change : quite simple, the government and Chinese technocrats are really beginning to be scared of the future demograhics in China. Chinese peopel might get old before they get rich, is a sentence that is sometimes said and that says a lot on how people see China’s future.

The thing is that it may now be too late : Chinese people have in a way westernized their behaviour, and like other developed countries, there is a tendancy to denatality.

Still, a baby boom might be coming. 79 million women are currently in age to have a child, they are aged 23 – 42 years old, and 48% of these women are concerned by this new law (basically people can have 2 children). In the case 25% of these women want to have a child, within 5 years 9,5 additional Chinese kids will be born.

Concerning the point of view of the officials, they seem to be expecting something like one million additional births every year thanks to this new measures. Actually, there is enthusiasm in the public about these measures, and the stocks of some companies have seen a strak increase of value at the Shenzhen stocks exchange market. Maternal milk, baby care items, musical instruments : this is anticipation of a baby boom by some investors.

Today’s Chinese parents are expecting a lot from their children and capitalizing on them. Has the one child policy reinforced this trend, since raising several children this way can be very costly, when parents invest that much on their children. In the meantime, prices are sharply rising and the cost of life becomes a real burden in Chinese large cities, people have to buy apartments and when they have boys they have to buy an apartment for him. This is a lot of new chalenges for the rising Chinese middle class : the whole process of helping the kids, develop their relations, help them to have a top education and find a job.

Future will tell if there will be a new surge of the traditional China with amazingly complicated families or if this period is over. Nowadays China has among the lowest fertility rates in the world and for the first time last year the Chinese population has been shrinking, and actually in the modern day China there was a few ways to have more than one kid that Chinese parents did not use, so this means that the expected baby boom might not be coming. We’ll see what is going to happen.

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