On December 27, 2015 Chinese lawmakers formally approved a Communist Party edict ending China's controversial “one-child” policy. The revised law goes into effective January 1.
The new policy
"The state advocates that one couple shall be allowed to have two children," states the revised Law on Population and Family Planning, which the state-run Xinhua News Agency said was approved by the National People's Congress Standing Committee.
The Communist Party announced in October that the law limiting most couples to one child would be dropped, citing a desire "to improve the balanced development of (China's) population."
Reasons for the change
China began easing the restriction in 2013, when it determined that couples could apply to have a second child if one of the parents was a single child. China maintains its one-child policy led to 400 million fewer births and lifted millions out of poverty because of the lighter demand on resources. However, some researchers say its birthrate would have fallen anyway as China’s economy developed and education levels rose, pushing more women into the workforce.
"Relaxation of the family planning policy is expected to provide part of the solution to the challenge of an aging population, and to become a new driver for the economy in the long run," Xinhua said.