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Officials urge support for 2-child policy

(Xinhua)    09:11, January 28, 2015

Shanghai's family planning authority has urged eligible couples to have a second child, after a lukewarm response in Shanghai, a year since the one-child policy was eased.

The Shanghai Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning announced Sunday that as of the end of 2014, only 16,600 of Shanghai's 370,000 qualified couples had applied. Couples can have a second child if either parent is a single child.

The application rate, 4.59 percent, is much lower than the national average of nine percent, which translates to nearly 1 million of 11 million qualified couples applying for a second child last year nationwide.

This is not the first time a municipal family planning authority has appealed to the public since the one child policy was eased nationally in January 2014. Provinces including Zhejiang, Heilongjiang and Henan also announced that application numbers were below expectations. They said supporting the policy would benefit children and society as a whole.

Fan Hua, a Shanghai family planning commission official, said the high cost of raising a child has discouraged many women. The Qianjiang Evening Post cited a survey saying that couples have to spend at least 100,000 yuan ($16,022) to raise a child until the age of 12. Fan added that women do not want to sacrifice their career for a second child, because they have to be away from work for about a year and a half.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Wang Ao,Yao Chun)

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