Asia Pacific / Social Issues

China says two-child policy to add 30 million workers by 2050

AP, Reuters

Chinese authorities expect that easing the country’s one-child policy will add more than 30 million people to the country’s labor force by 2050.

Wang Pei’an, spokesman for the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said Tuesday that more than 90 million people will become eligible for having a second child when China formally moves away from the one-child policy to allow all couples to have two children.

Wang said the younger blood will improve China’s age makeup in the labor force, lower the percentage of the elderly in the population by 2 percent, and slow the society’s aging process.

The policy is expected to boost the country’s economic growth rate by about 0.5 of a percentage point, Wang said, though he did not specify a time period for that growth target.

Last week, President Xi Jinping said it is possible for the country to have annual economic growth of around 7 percent over the next five years.

“In the long-term, the positive effect on economic growth will be significant,” Wang told a news briefing.

The policy is expected to be formally adopted in the spring.