|China ends one-child policy
China has ended its decades-long one-child policy. Now all couples will be allowed to have two children. The one-child policy started in 1979. It was to control the population and avoid high rates of poverty. It wasn't kept to strictly and there were many exceptions. Around a third of the population could have just one child. Just over half was allowed to have a second child if the first child was a girl. The new two-child policy should increase fertility rates.
The new two-child policy should boost China's economy and stop China from becoming an ageing society. China's labour force was 930 million in 2014. This will fall by 29 million by 2020. There will be an average of 2.5 million extra babies each year. This will provide more workers and an extra $11.8 billion in annual consumption. Shares in baby goods companies jumped by 10 per cent on Friday. The new policy will affect 100 million couples.