China’s decision to allow all couples to have two children instead of one has resulted in birth rates rising to the highest level since 2000, a government official said. New births in the world’s most populous nation reached 17.86 million in 2016, up around 1.4 million compared to the 2011-2015 average, said Yang Wenzhuang of the National Health and Family Planning Commission. Worried about the costs of supporting an increasingly ageing population, China issued new guidelines in late 2015 allowing all parents to have two children. China began implementing its controversial “one-child policy” in the 1970s in order to limit population growth, but authorities are now concerned that the country’s dwindling workforce will not be able to support an increasingly ageing population, according to Reuters.
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