Shanghai urges eligible couples to have a second child, breaking from China's long-standing 'one child' policy. The move reflects the city's concern over an aging population - but bucks global concerns on overpopulation.
Like much of China, Shanghai is an overpopulated city. However, its demographic is decidedly older - and as a result the population is in a state of decline. To combat this, Shanghai is encouraging eligible couples to procreate and to have a second child - breaking the broader Chinese "one child" policy that has prevailed over China's explosive population growth for decades.
The policy shift runs counter to concerns that the country's - and the world's resources - are over-stretched due to widespread overpopulation.
"China's famous "one child" policy is actually less rigorous than its name suggests, and allows urban parents to have two offspring if they are both only children. Rural couples are allowed a second child if their first is a girl," notes Reuters.
But the overpopulation issue extends well beyond China. (For a general review of the issue and its global consequences, please a summary video here). There are 6.8 billion people on the planet, a number that is unsustainable in terms of the finite resources human populations need for basic life functions.
"The U.S.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies warned in April that by 2050 China will have more than 438 million people older than 60, with more than 100 million of them 80 and above," Reuters reported. "The country will have just 1.6 working-age adults to support every person aged 60 and above, compared with 7.7 in 1975."