China has officially ended the one-child policy as lawmakers rubber-stamped the new legislation on Sunday after an original announcement in October.
Following the approval, all married couples will be allowed to have a second child from January 1.
Top Communist Party leaders had previously cleared the new policy, describing it as a proactive move in response to the issue of aging population.
“To promote a balanced growth of population, China will… improve its strategy,” the government said in October.
“China will fully implement the policy of ‘one couple, two children’ in a proactive response to the issue of an aging population.”
Demographers have warned that falling birthrates may cause a labor shortage in China that would endanger the nation’s economic growth.
China has the world’s largest population at 1.37 billion, but its working-age population—those aged 15 to 64—is shrinking, Reuters noted.
According to the United Nations, the number of Chinese people over the age of 65 will jump 85 percent to 243 million by 2030, up from 131 million this year.
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