It is the first study to use national data to estimate the impacts of the policy change and shows that births increased in response to the policy, but not as much as some policymakers had hoped.
China's two-child policy, announced in October 2015, was enacted to reverse the nation's stagnant population growth, ageing population, and shrinking workforce.
Policy - Women - Age - Child - Child
The policy targeted some 90 million women of reproductive age who already had a child, and now would be allowed to have a second child.
There has been much speculation about the impact of the policy, with projections ranging from slightly over 1 million to more than 20 million annually. But, so far, studies have been limited.
Team - Researchers - China - US - Changes
So a team of researchers based in China and the US set out to measure changes in births and health-related birth characteristics associated with the policy change.
Using two national databases, they compared the number of births in two phases: "baseline period" (up to and including June 2016, 9 months after the announcement) and "effective period" (July 2016 to December 2017).
Findings - Births - Provinces - Mainland - China
Their findings are based on 67.8 million births in 28 out of 31 provinces of mainland China, an average of 1.41 million births per month.
The researchers estimate an additional 5.4 million births as a result of the new policy during the first 18 months that it was in effect. And for the...
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