In 2015, Beijing abolished the decades-old one-child policy, and in May introduced the three-child policy.
The Guardian newspaper published a report from China saying that young people are delaying marriage and resisting having children, preferring to focus on developing themselves professionally and academically and obtaining money at a time when the country is facing what some locals have described as a “demographic time bomb”.
She said: Early this month, the official China News Agency (Xinhua) published a video clip reminding young people born in 2000 that they are eligible for marriage. The hashtag quickly appeared in the list of most searched topics on Weibo, but many understood this as an attempt by the government to pressure them.
Reactions from young people came in phrases such as “Who dares to get married these days? Don’t we need to make money? Stop this annoying message to me!”. Note that under Chinese law, men can marry 22 and women 20.
Last week, the government reported that the population growth rate had fallen to its lowest level in 61 years, with births narrowly exceeding deaths in 2021, despite efforts to encourage couples to have children in the past few years.
The British newspaper quoted Yi Liu, senior lecturer at the Lao China Institute at King’s College London, as saying that the attitude of young Chinese towards marriage poses a major threat to Beijing’s efforts to change a looming demographic crisis, and that this attitude, coupled with a higher level of education and economic improvement, will become the biggest problem of years. coming.
Wang Feng, professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine, said an increasing number of young people in East Asian societies are delaying marriage with the boom of the region, noting that this change has been particularly rapid in urban China.
Comparing China’s census data from 1990 to 2015, Wang said that the proportion of unmarried Chinese women in their late twenties had jumped eight times in 25 years.
Census data from 2000 and 2010 show that young people with a university education, aged between 25 and 29, are more likely to be single. Women in developed cities, in particular, have lower marriage ambitions.
One such young man, Vicki Liu from northern Tianjin, born in 1997, said that once she graduated with a master’s degree in England last year, her parents began arranging meetings for her with young people, adding, “I’m an adult. I want a career and a good circle of friends. I just don’t want Being tied up in a family life too early.”
This has alarmed the authorities as the decline in population growth has become more pronounced in recent years. To reverse this trend, in 2015 Beijing abolished the decades-old one-child policy, and in May introduced the three-child policy.
Yi Fuxian of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of Big Country with an Empty Nest said there are concrete measures the government can take to calm the situation, for example, job opportunities for young people, help with living costs and the cost of property, and make it easier to raise children.