Having kids for the economy won’t catch on, despite the enticements of the recent “two child policy”.
A survey conducted among university students in China jointly sponsored by China Family Planning Association, China Youth Network and China Population and Development Research Center shows a shift in attitudes towards marriage and having children.
The survey revealed that the number one reason women fear having children is ‘pain in childbirth’ and lack of parenting skills, and found that marriage and career stability were the most important prerequisites for childbearing. The college students participating in the survey said they wanted to succeed in their careers before starting a family, however, most of the respondents no longer consider marriage an integral part of life, unlike students one or two generations prior. The survey also suggests that young Chinese believe the primary goals of marriage are spiritual and higher standard of living with 15% saying they want to embrace a “double income no kids” lifestyle.
The survey and subsequent report are an attempt to understand what young Chinese think about marriage and children to develop policies and incentives to address China’s ageing and shrinking population.