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Shanghai's Birth Rate Lower Than That of Western Countries

People living in metropolitan cities have discovered in recent years that more young married couples delay their child-bearing age and some choose not to bear baby. The fifth census indicated that Shanghai's birth rate is as low as 5.5 per thousand from 1999 to 2000, the lowest level in the whole country.

More and More Dink Family Appearing

People living in metropolitan cities have discovered in recent years that more young married couples delay their child-bearing age and some choose not to bear baby. The fifth census conducted lately by Shanghai Statistics Bureau indicated that Shanghai's birth rate is as low as 5.5 per thousand from November 1, 1999 to October 31, 2000, the lowest level in the whole country and lower that the average annual rate of 10 per thousand in developed countries.

Various Reasons Not to Bear Baby

There are varied reasons why some married couples in metropolises choose not to have children. Mr. Liu and his wife are both at 38, but according to him they have never thought of giving birth to a child and they regard it as the most rational choice in their lives. Speaking of the reason, he said he is afraid of failing to shoulder the responsibility as a father. Mrs Geng said though she likes kids, she is too busy to afford time. Mrs Li simply told the reporter she doesn't want a child because she fears child-delivering pains. What's more, her husband seems to dislike kids as well..

Mr. Tian Xueyuan told the reporter that "poverty generates population" is a common global law. The reason is simple. Bearing a child in backward areas costs less but brings great benefits to the family because usually teenagers are able to help the family do farm work. Moreover, a traditional concept prevailing in those areas is that the more children one has, the more one seems to be guaranteed at one's old age. However, in economically developed areas, the situation is quite different. First, it's not easy to bring up a child. In Beijing, it will cost one at least several hundred thousand yuan to send a child to school till he or she graduates from university or college. Second, there is no need for children to support their old-age parents as all people have endowment insurance. Besides, the concept of pursuing one's own development and happiness is more and more popular.

Mr. Zhang Shikun, Deputy Director of the Publicity and Education Department under the State Planning Commission told the reporter that as she knows, many married couples said they didn't want children, but very few of them really had no children in the end, and so this would not exert much effect on the total amount and quality of the population

Dink Family

A survey conducted in Shanghai shows that Chinese families are currently classified into seven types - the single family (consisting of a single man or woman), the "dink" family, (well-off young couple working with no children), the empty nest family (the children having grown up and left), the core family, the trunk family (a couple living with their parents and their children), and the joint family (couples living with their parents and their in-laws).

Dink family refers to Double Income No Kids. Dink couples are becoming more and more common in urban China as young people realize you can have more fun and money if you remain childless. But, it will be a while yet before you hear any complaints that China has too few people. Family Planning Officers advise that give birth to few children but make them high quality.

(People's Daily December 31, 2001)

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