China to Relax One-Child Policy, But Chinese Fertility Rate Still Headed Lower

China is going to allow couples with one only child spouse to have two children. Currently, only couples in which both are only children can have two children. However, this law is only strictly enforced in the cities. So the number of people affected is quite small. Over at ZeroHedge, they cite a Bank of America report that estimates an incremental increase of 9.5 million babies, total.

Consider the bigger picture. China is urbanizing and one plan for keeping growth from collapsing to near 0-3% is to push more people into cities. The fertility rates in the cities is already low by choice. China increasingly looks like Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, where the fertility rates are 1.1, 1.1 and 0.8 children born/woman, respectively. China's fertility rate is currently about 1.6 children born/woman.

If they want to raise fertility, they should deurbanize. China's fertility rate is headed lower, one child policy or not.

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