China is Ending its One-Child Policy

By Jamie Condliffe on at

China is scrapping the policy that allows couples to have only one child, according to reports from the state-run new agency Xinhua.

The news emerges at the end of a four-day meeting of China’s ruling Communist Party. All Chinese couples will now be able to have two children, not just one, according to the news agency.

The BBC notes that since its introduction in 1979 ago to control the birth rate, the policy has been “estimated to have prevented about 400 million births”. But recently, China’s ageing population has been a cause for concern among senior officials, and many have been calling for a change to the rules.

In the past, couples have suffered punishments ranging from fines to enforced abortions for daring to violate the rule. While some provinces had already relaxed the policy, couples across the entire country will now be able to have two children. [Xinhua via BBC]

Image by Webber Huang under Creative Commons licence