Sunday, July 14, 2024

As China’s Birth Rate Falls, College Students Given a Week Off To “Fall in Love”: Report

As China faces a population crisis, with birth rates continuing to fall, the government and academic institutions are seeking innovative solutions to encourage citizens to have more babies. One such initiative is being implemented by nine colleges in China, which are giving students a week off in April to “fall in love”. The spring break is focused on romance, encouraging students to “learn to love nature, love life, and enjoy love through enjoying the spring break”.

The effort to boost the birth rate comes as the Chinese government has proposed more than 20 recommendations to address the population decline. However, experts suggest that the best they can do is slow down the decline. The country’s one-child policy, implemented between 1980 and 2015, has largely contributed to the demographic hole that China finds itself in. While the policy was relaxed in 2021 to allow three children per family, couples are still hesitant to have babies.

The reluctance to have children is due to several factors, including high childcare and education costs, low incomes, a feeble social safety net, and gender inequalities. Young people, in particular, are hesitant to start families due to these discouraging factors. While the week-long break may not solve the population crisis, it could provide students with a much-needed break and an opportunity to reflect on their personal lives, including their future plans for starting a family.

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