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Time to loosen family planning policy: think tank

(Xinhua)

09:36, October 27, 2012

BEIJING - China should consider adjusting its family planning policy, as structural problems have overtaken excessive growth as the most significant population-related problem, a government think tank said Friday.

Problems in population structure, quality and distribution have become increasingly visible and will have a profound impact on China's future social and economic development, the China Development Research Foundation (CDRF) said in a report.

China's population has seen a declining annual growth rate, slowing to 0.57 percent in the first decade of the 21st century, down from 1.07 percent in the previous ten years, according to the report.

China's population situation is quite different from that of 30 years ago, when a family planning policy that limited the majority of urban families to one child took effect, the report said.

The report said the population is heading for negative growth and an ultra-low fertility rate, as well as faces issues related to aging, gender imbalances, urbanization, an expanding shortage of migrant workers and an only-child generation.

The CDRF said the government should gradually loosen the one-child policy over the next three years in regions where family planning has been strictly implemented.

By 2020, there will be no need to continue birth planning, as people will make more rational decisions on birth issues, said the CDRF.

The CDRF said China will have an ultra-low fertility rate after 2026 and that the government should start encouraging families to have more children.

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