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Fewer applications for a second child than expected in China

Despite the government relaxing the country’s one-child policy, the number of couples seeking to have a second child is much lower than expected.

Early this year, China began allowing couples to have a second child if either parent is an only child. Nearly 700,000 couples nationwide have since applied for the permit to have a second child. But when the resolution was announced a year ago, there were 11 million eligible couples.

The Health and Family Planning Commission said that the low number could be because of the short period of time since the new policy was implemented and a change of mindsets among educated urban residents. The commission adds it may take two to three years before there are any notable changes from the new policy.