This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Still No Baby Boom in China

You might think that no news is just no news. But it turns out that when the Chinese government last year lifted some of the constraints on the one-child policy, there were people who were seriously expecting, indeed counting, on a baby boom. This week's Economist has the story:
WHEN China eased its one-child policy late last year, investors bet on a surge in demand for everything from pianos to nappies. They, and government officials, foresaw a mini-boom after long-constrained parents were allowed a second go at making babies.
So far, however, it is hard to identify a bedroom productivity burst. About 270,000 couples applied for permission to have second children by the end of May, and 240,000 received it, according to the national family-planning commission. It means China will fall well short of the 1m-2m extra births that Wang Peian, the deputy director of the commission, had predicted.
I noted at the time of the policy change that Chinese demographers were not expecting such an increase in births, but apparently not everyone was listening. And people are still expectant, even if women are not. The Economist suggests that the government was so worried about a surge in births that it made the application process cumbersome so that local hospitals would not be overburdened. So, if they can just make it a little easier to have a baby, that boom will surely come, right?

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