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May 14, 2021

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Shanghai predicts drop in newborns over next 5 years

THE number of newborns in Shanghai is expected to drop between 2021 and 2025, city health authorities said yesterday.

Last year, 127,600 babies were delivered in the city compared with 169,000 the year before. About 53 percent were registered residents and the rest didn’t have local hukou, also known as permanent residency.

Among them, 62 percent were first babies, up 1.3 percentage points from a year earlier. Another 34 percent were second babies, down 1.63 percentage points from 2019.

Overall, there have been fewer new births in the city year by year for a number of reasons, authorities said. The number of females of childbearing age has dropped due to the changing age structure of the population, they said. 

At present, the majority of people of childbearing age were born after 1990, while the period between 1990 and 2003 saw a decline in the number of births in the city. 

Last year, there were 828,400 women with permanent residency aged between 25 and 34, accounting for 28.7 percent of the city’s population, down 2.7 percent from 2019.

The average age of women becoming pregnant for the first time last year was just under 31, more than five months older than in 2019.

Meanwhile, only 6.92 percent of women of childbearing age with a child already were planning to have another, according to a survey by health authorities. 

Financial reasons, advanced maternal age and the responsibility of caring for a child were cited as major concerns for them not to have a second child.

In response to its rapidly aging population, China allowed married couples to have two children from 2016.


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