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China used to restrict parents to one child. Now it might pay them to have two.

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After decades of the "one-child policy," China is considering paying parents to have a second kid. 

Wang Peian, vice-minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said parents could be eligible for "birth rewards and subsidies" for having second kids, according to the state-run newspaper China Daily.

The proposed policy shift is an attempt to reach new, higher birth rate goals as China's population ages. The one-child policy was law from 1979 through October 2015.

The financial incentives would require more effort ... to cover the cost of raising a child, which is more important than giving birth.
Lu Jiehua

While birth rates have risen since repealing the policy, a NHFPC survey found 60 percent of families were reluctant to have a second kid because of financial difficulties, Sociology professor Lu Jiehua noted China may not be able to afford to help parents raise a child.

By the numbers

  • China's birth rate peaked at almost six births per woman in the 1960s. After the one-child policy, it fell to 1.5 per woman.
  • China has 114 million people over the age of 65. The U.S. has 46.2 million, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • China might have the oldest population in the world by 2030, with 400 million people over 60, according to government reports.

More challenges

But even now, the impact of the two-child policy, instituted in 2016, may not be felt until the new babies are old enough to work. Women that are old enough to have kids still remember the one-child policy, and may not want to change their mindset on having kids, Lu told CNN.

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