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Report: China’s Cost of Childrearing the Second Highest in the World

According to a recent report from Chinese think tank Yicai Research, China ranks second only to South Korea as the most expensive country in the world to raise a child. The cost of raising a child in China to the age of 18 is 6.9 times the country’s per capita GDP, which is twice the cost in Germany and three times the cost in France. China’s low birth rate and the now-abandoned one-child policy have resulted in an impending demographic crisis, with India poised to overtake China as the world’s most populous country this year.

The report recommends that China provides more support to families to improve the country’s low birth rate. The measures suggested include cash and tax subsidies, housing subsidies, increasing the number of daycare centers, offering equal maternity leave for men and women, introducing foreign nannies, promoting flexible work arrangements, protecting the reproductive rights of single women, allowing assisted reproductive technologies, and reforming the school and examination system.

A national survey conducted by the National Health and Family Planning Commission in China in 2017 found that 77.4 percent of women of childbearing age felt that the “economic burden is too heavy” is the primary reason for not wanting to have children, except for “being too old” or “having no one to take care of the child.”

Source: Deutsche Welle, May 1, 2023