Beijing, July 15 (IANS) Some 17.58 million babies were born in China last year, according to figures released on Sunday.
According to the figures from the National Health Commission, about 51 per cent of the newborns were not the first child in their families, reports Xinhua news agency.
In response to a rapidly aging population, China allowed married couples to have two children from 2016, ending its decades-long one-child policy.
The maternal mortality rate dropped to 19.6 per 100,000 births while the infant mortality rate decreased to 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2017.
China also offered free pre-pregnancy health examinations to 11.73 million people nationwide in 2017 in an effort to reduce birth defect risks.