Over 53,000 couples in Beijing opt for second child

Beijing, Oct 25 (IANS) Over 53,000 couples in Beijing have applied for a second child since the capital city changed its birth control policy in early 2014.

By the end of September, 53,034 couples in Beijing had submitted applications, out of which 48,392 couples were given approvals, Xinhua news agency reported.

China introduced its family planning policy in the late 1970s to rein in population growth by limiting most urban couples to one child and most rural couples to two, allowing the birth of a second child if the first child was a girl.

A major policy change at the end of 2013 allows couples nationwide to have a second child if either parent is an only child.

Beijing, with permanent population in excess of 20 million, estimated that the new policy would increase this number by more than 270,000, with around 54,200 additional births annually till 2019, when the figure will peak and begin to go down steadily.

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