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Child issue at heart of city’s family problems

(Global Times)

08:31, May 15, 2013

What's the major problem facing Shanghai's families? The growing number of women who don't want to have children, the Shanghai Municipal Health and Family Planning Commission said Tuesday, a day ahead of the International Family Day.

According to a survey of married women in five cities, including Shanghai, nearly 37.5 percent said they didn't want to have a child because they didn't have enough money or a proper house to raise a family, the commission said. About 25 percent said school or work commitments didn't leave them enough time for a child. In addition, 15.63 percent of the respondents said they just didn't want children.

By comparison, only 3.13 percent of married women couldn't have children due to infertility, the commission said.

The commission also took issue with the large proportion of grandparents in the city who have been charged with taking care of their grandchildren on a day-to-day basis. In Shanghai, 64 percent of grandparents take care of children 6 year old and younger. For the sake of comparison, only 32.8 percent parents in Shanghai take care of children by themselves.

Although the commission acknowledged the situation allows new parents to better balance their working and family lives, it could strain the relationships between them and their young children.

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