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China expects 1m more births in 2015

Updated: Feb 9,2015 9:06 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — At least one million more births are expected in 2015 than last year, as a result of changes to the family planning policy.

A total of 16.9 million new citizens came into the world in 2014, 470,000 more than in 2013, according to the China Population Association (CPA) on Feb 9.

According to the CPA, since 1990s, the annual number of newborns has decreased from more than 20 million to around 16 million. The lowest number was 15.8 million in 2006.

Yang Wenzhuang of the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) said the number of Chinese women at childbearing age has declined while the number of births has increased, showing the effect of the changes to the birth control policy.

The changed policy was piloted in east China’s Zhejiang province in January 2014, and now couples nationwide may now have a second child if either parent is an only child.

As the end of 2014, around 1 million couples had applied for a second child.