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Huge population decline, Northeast China pilot full relaxation of family planning policy
Published on: 2021-02-20
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China's National Health Commission said on Thursday the proposal of fully lifting the family planning policy firstly in Northeast China is of great reference value and can be piloted based on local situations so as to solve the problem of population decline in the region.

The proposal was made by a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC).

The commission said provinces in Northeast China — Heilongjiang, Liaoning and Jilin — can organize experts to conduct research and make an in-depth study of the impact of the relaxation of the family planning policy on local economic growth, social harmony and stability, resource and environmental strategies, basic public services and other aspects.

Also, the commission requested the region to measure population changes and assess the social risks after the possible policy adjustment.

On this basis, the region can propose the pilot program, the authority said.

It noted that the decrease of the population in Northeast China reflects the comprehensive and systematic problems of regional economic system, industrial structure and social policies.

For example, with the depletion of resources and the country's industrial upgrading and transformation, a large number of local young workers cannot find satisfactory jobs at home, but have to go to regions with a better economy and higher wages.

Economic and social factors, especially the economic burden, infant care and women's career development, have affected the local fertility rate, said the commission.

According to a report published in July 2018, the fertility rate in the region was the lowest in the world - around a third of Japan's - and had led to a decline in the region's labor force, said Yi Fuxian, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Yi said that Northeast China had the world's lowest fertility rate, with the number of children an average woman will have over her lifetime, in 2015 being just 0.55.

Experts warned that the birth rate in China has crossed a warning level after a recent report from the public security authorities showed that the country registered only 10 million newborns in 2020, down 15 percent down from 2019.

一年减少42.73万人!东三省全面放开人口生育能

从计划生育到“单独二孩”再到全面二孩,生育政策也在随着经济和社会发展的变化而不断调整。国家卫生健康委官网近日发布对全国人大代表建议的答复称,东北地区可以立足本地实际进行探索,提出实施全面生育政策的试点方案。消息一出,引发舆论关注。

东北地区人口的持续下降,为当地社会经济可持续发展敲响了警钟。2020年全国两会,全国人大代表、辽宁省常务副省长陈向群在审议政府工作报告时提出,恳请率先在东北地区全面放开人口生育政策。

国家卫健委表示,曾委托辽宁大学、吉林大学等研究机构做过研究,并多次赴当地开展专题调研。东北地区为何想要率先探索全面放开人口生育政策限制?育儿成本高,如何解决?
东北地区为何要率先尝试“全面放开生育政策”?辽宁大学人口研究所公共政策研究中心主任宋丽敏给记者列了一组数据:

宋丽敏:辽宁、吉林和黑龙江三省《2019年国民经济和社会发展统计公报》显示,三省2019年年末常住人口分别减少7.6万人、13.33万人和21.8万人,合计减少42.73万人。人口自然增长率分别为-0.80‰、-0.85‰、-1.01‰。虽然东北三省2020年的人口数据尚未公布,但大概率也是延续人口负增长态势。

国家卫生健康委称,东北地区人口总量减少,折射出的是区域经济体制、产业结构、社会政策等综合性、系统性问题。比如,随着资源枯竭和国家产业升级转型,大批年轻劳动力无法在本地找到满意的工作,只能流向经济更好、工资更高的地区。

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