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Report: raising a child in China costs 6.3 times per capita GDP

By Chen Meiling | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-02-21 20:35

A nurse takes care of a newborn baby at Gansu Provincial Maternity and Childcare Hospital in Lanzhou. [Photo/Xinhua]

The average cost of raising a child to a university undergraduate level is 680,000 yuan ($94,500) in China, according to a recent report on child-rearing costs released on Wednesday by the YuWa Population Research think tank, led by Chinese demographer Liang Jianzhang.

In China, raising a child until age 18 is equivalent to 6.3 times the per capita GDP, higher than all countries except for South Korea, the report showed. South Korea's fertility rate is at the bottom level worldwide.

The report recommends subsidizing childbirth, reducing family burdens, boosting confidence in national economic development, and enhancing China's innovation and competitiveness to increase the birth rate.

The report includes the cost of child-rearing from pregnancy to childbirth and the cost of raising and educating the child. The latter accounts for most expenses, while the former only represents a small portion. Time and opportunity costs are also factored in.

The excessively high cost of child-rearing is the most significant negative factor affecting the willingness of childbearing-age families to have children. Therefore, China urgently needs to introduce policies to reduce the cost of child-rearing as soon as possible, according to the report.

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