24 Jul 2009

Shanghai parents 'encouraged' to have second child

9:38 pm on 24 July 2009

The government in the Chinese city of Shanghai is to encourage some parents to have a second child.

China Daily reported that only parents who were themselves both only children would be eligible.

The goal is to reduce the proportion of aging people in the population, and reduce future workforce shortages.

Decades of a strictly enforced one-child policy has produced new strains across the population and prompted exceptions in some family categories, the BBC reports.

China's family planning policy has been relaxed in recent years to allow second children, but what is different now is that Shanghai is actively encouraging the change.

Family planning officials and volunteers will make home visits and slip leaflets under doors to encourage couples to have a second child if both grew up as only children, China Daily said.

Emotional and financial counselling will also be provided, officials said.

Shanghai, the country's most populous city, has more than three million registered residents aged 60 and above, nearly 22% of the population. By 2020, the proportion is expected to rise to about 34%, China Daily said.