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China Center Quick Note: Changes to the One-Child Policy – Anticipating the Impacts

This Quick Note outlines the recent changes made to China’s birth control policy, summarizes the various opinions of population experts over possible long-term impacts of the new policy, and highlights likely implications for businesses. 

In November 2013, China’s birth control policy was amended in the 3rd Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. The changes stipulate that couples where either the husband or the wife is from a single child family will now be allowed to have two children. The policy adjustment is intended to gradually shift declining fertility rate dynamics in China to promote more balanced population development in the longer term.

Looking forward, the potential effect of the new policy remains quite uncertain, and several different interpretations exist as to whether the new policy will ultimately benefit economic growth by counteracting the challenges of population aging and workforce shrinkage.

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