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November 5, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

No sign of city baby boom letting up

SHANGHAI is still in middle of a baby boom, and the city shouldn't expect the patter of tiny feet to lessen until 2017.

Around 168,000 babies are expected to be born to local women in the city this year, slightly up on last year's figure of 164,600.

Local women - who include those with registered residence and migrants who stay in the city for more than six months - will give birth to about 170,000 babies next year, said officials from Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission yesterday.

This figure is based upon the number of newly wed couples and the number of women of child-bearing age.

By last month, some 133,000 babies had been delivered to local women in 2010. These included 73,000 with registered residency and 60,000 migrant women.

Officials said this baby boom, which started in 2006, is due to people who were born in the previous baby boom in 1980s getting married and starting families, more couples with one spouse from Shanghai having babies and more migrant people having children in the city.

The current boom is due to end around 2017, as the 1980s boom which produced this generation of parents tailed off in the 1990s.

The commission also conducted a survey of the city's migrant workers, many of whom have chosen to stay long-term.

In 2009, Shanghai was home to 5.42 million migrants who had stayed in the city for more than six months - 2.37 million more than 2000. Migrant people accounted for 28.2 percent of local residents last year.

Almost 90 percent of migrants have stable jobs, with an average monthly income of 2,500 yuan, and 83 percent are living with their families, according to the survey of 4,011 migrant workers aged between 16 and 59 conducted in July.

Job opportunities and the chance of personal development are the main factors that attract migrant people to work and live in Shanghai.

Half of the respondents said they want to stay in Shanghai in the long term and 36.6 percent want to stay permanently.

The top three reasons driving migrant people away from the city are the high cost of living, work pressure and the absence of friends and relatives, the survey said.

Among those who have children, 59 percent want them to grow up and develop careers in Shanghai.

"As so many migrant people have a strong desire to stay in Shanghai, local authorities should make proper arrangements for their children's schooling and employment," said Xie Lingli, director of Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission.

The commission also investigated birth control among local residents.

A survey in June found that 81.1 percent of women of child-bearing age use birth control methods, 0.9 percent more than last year.

It also noted that condoms are becoming more popular and are increasingly seen as a convenient and safe contraceptive.


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