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Shanghai Expecting Third Baby Boom

The Shanghai Municipal Population and Family Planning Commission announced on Saturday that it expects a third baby boom to take place in the next 10 years, with the number of births annually to reach a peak of 160,000 in 2014 and 2015.

The announcement was made to help local residents plan births to avoid the peaks, improve the unbalanced population structure and maintain sustainable development of the economy and society.

"The population forecast may help local residents choose a proper time to have babies," said  Xie Lingli, the commission's director, at a news conference.

During the first six months of this year, the city's residents gave birth to 48,200 infants, an amazing 22.2 percent increase over the previous year.

Population experts estimate the city will greet a total of 100,000 new children this year, compared with 83,000 last year.

Xie attributes the rapid population increase to a large number of women at childbearing age, with 900,000 aged between 20 and 29. During the past four years, the population of this age group -- the most active childbearing group -- increased by as much as 50,000 each year.

Meanwhile, more local families are qualifying to have their second children according to the city's family planning policy, and last August's relaxation of the residence registration policy has also contributed to the increase.

(China Daily September 27, 2004)

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