While China's family planning policy restricts most people from having a second child, more than half of those eligible to have another child don't want one. And the reason, according to a recent survey, is purely financial.
"It's not the family planning policy that makes me hesitate because my wife and I are both eligible (to have a second child). But what we are facing now is huge economic pressure," 32-year-old Shanghai IT engineer George Zhang, whose wife is expecting their first baby, was quoted by Wednesday's China Daily as saying.
"My entire income will go toward paying off our housing loan and the child's food and clothing," he said. "I can't afford a second baby, though I envy those families who have twins."
The survey was conducted by the Shanghai-based Dongfang Daily, following a reminder from the city government last month telling couples that if both spouses are sole children, they are eligible to have a second child.
Among the 829 surveyed, 23 percent were eligible to have another child. Of those, 59 percent said they don't want a second baby, 18.5 percent said they wanted one and 22 percent expressed hesitation.
Among those disqualified from having a second child, 51 percent said they wouldn't have another baby even if the policy allowed them to. When asked about the reason, 86 percent said the primary concern was money.
More than 3 million people, or about 22 percent of Shanghai's population, are aged 60 or above.