Migrants are fueling a Shanghai baby boom, with 131,000 births expected in the city this year, up from 123,901 last year.
The birth rate will rise to about 137,000 next year and peak in 2015 at about 160,000, according to a forecast by the Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission released Wednesday.
"The growing migrant population is the main cause for the increasing number of babies," said Xie Lingli, director of the commission, adding that previously only 127,000 newborns were expected this year.
"Migrant people delivered 24,300 babies in the first half of this year, an increase of 41.28 percent over the same time last year."
Migrants are people who live legally in Shanghai but are registered elsewhere.
The commission surveyed 30,000 migrant people in June.
"The survey showed that 84.15 percent of the migrant workers are below 35 years old," Xie said. "More than 73 percent of them are married and 41.55 percent came to Shanghai with their families."
Another commission survey released yesterday showed that registered residents, especially those from one-child families, were keen to have children.
Since the country introduced the one-child policy in the late 1970s, 1.4 million city residents from one-child families have entered adulthood.
A survey covering 4,800 such people found that 45.66 percent want one child and 50.11 percent want two children.
The city's removal in 2004 of the four-year interval for a second child if both spouses are from one-child families may have changed people's attitudes to having children, officials said.
A similar research in 2003 found 79.93 percent wanted to have one child and only 14.45 percent wanted two children.
Officials also released the results of an investigation into 20,000 couples and their contraceptive methods and family life. About 74.4 percent of husbands expressed satisfaction with their sex lives, and 85.3 percent said their sexual health activity was essential to quality of family life.
The top concern for married men is prostate disease, according to the survey.
(Shanghai Daily October 19, 2006)