After 35 years, couples of China will now be allowed to have two children.
The controversial policy was introduced nationally in 1979, to slow the rapid population growth rate. However, the decision to end this polocy was driven by fears that an aging population could jeopardize China’s economy.
It is estimated to have prevented about 400 million births. However with 30% of China’s estimated 1.36 billion people population being over 50, this has led to pressure for change.
Previously, couples who violated the one-child policy faced a variety of punishments, from fines and the loss of employment to forced abortions.
The decision to allow families to have two children was implemented “to improve the balanced development of population” and to cope with an aging population, according to the statement from the Community Party’s Central Committee on Thursday.
The Communist Party began formally relaxing national rules two years ago, allowing couples in which at least one of the pair is an only child to have a second child.