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
China Faces Baby Boomlet
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 has cracked down on crude and insensitive slogans used by rural authorities to enforce the country's...   (Associated Press)

(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.

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"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. (Read more China stories.)

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