Pregnant women practice yoga. Photo: Reuters, China Daily

The China Daily reported Tuesday that China is considering financial incentives to encourage people to have children, as the expense of raising them and changes in lifestyle have led to lower than expected enthusiasm for larger families. The country relaxed the decades-old One Child policy early last year to allow for two children per family, but did not see the significant jump in childbirths many had hoped for.

Vice-minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, Wang Pei’an downplayed that reality, saying that childbirths last year “fully met the expectations.” Nonetheless, he admitted that the government is considering subsidies to address reluctance due to economic constraints. Many demographic experts have long advocated for a full reversal of China’s family planning policies, but the government has so far been reluctant to cede control over the decision of how many children families chose to have.