China Faces Baby Boomlet

Echoes of relaxed one-child rule, healthy economy will manifest soon
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2007 4:31 PM CST
A Chinese woman holds the hand of her child past a billboard bearing the words "Children's Big World" outside a shopping mall in Beijing, China, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2007. China's top family planning agency...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – China is bracing for a bumper crop of babies as kids born after the relaxation of the strict one-child policy in 1984 start their own families, the London Times reports. Strict penalties still apply to couples with more than one child, but tradition-bound and wealthy Chinese can afford to pay the price to have a son.

"The contradiction between the desire and the current family planning policy remains acute," says a government official. China's population of 1.3 billion would be 1.7 billion if not for the one-child policy instituted in the early 1970s, experts say. Because of the preference for boys, the population now has 117 males for every 100 females.