China ruling Communist Party said on Monday that it will ease birth limits to allow all couples to have three children instead of two in hopes of slowing the rapid aging of its population, which is adding strains on the economy and society. The ruling party has enforced birth limits since 1980 to restrain population growth but worries the number of working age people is falling too fast while the share over age 65 is rising. That threatens to disrupt its ambitions to transform china into a prosperous consumer society and global technology leader. The leaders also agreed that China needs to raise its retirement age to keep more people in the workforce and improver pension and health services for the elderly.
The restrictions that limited most couples to one child disruption to their jobs and the need to look after elderly parents. The fertility rate, or the average number of births per mother stood at 1.3 in 2020 will below the 2.1 that would maintain the size of the population. The ruling party says prevented as many as 400 million potential births, averting shortages of food and water. But demographers say if china followed trends in Thailand, parts of India and other countries the number of additional babies might have been as low as a few million.