Shanghai promotes procreation to balance ageing society

Shanghai’s initiative follows similar campaigns in other crowded Asian cities, such as Hong Kong and Singapore, which had previously worked to promote small families only to see birth rates trail off as incomes matched western levels.FT logo

This article in the Financial Times explains that the city is taking the dramatic step of actively encouraging residents to exceed China’s famed “one child” limit, citing concerns about the ageing of its population and a potentially shrinking workforce.Some 21 per cent of Shanghai’s registered population last year were aged 60 or older, which was twice the national average.

Twelve categories of Shanghai couples are allowed to have two children, including those whose first child is disabled and those with a spouse who was a fisherman at sea for more than five years.

Officials say that the move reflected a wider change in attitude and that the country will gradually return birth rights to residents.