Hong Kong to promote 'three-child policy'

[JURIST] The Hong Kong government [official site] announced on Tuesday that it will begin encouraging couples to have three children, in an effort to reverse the territory's falling birth rate. In a radio interview, Chief Secretary Donald Tsang said the government is considering providing tax incentives to encourage couples to have more children. Currently, Hong Kong has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. The average married couple has two children. The policy seems to be in stark contrast to policies in other regions of China, the world's most populous nation, that are aimed at stemming further population growth. The reason for alarm in Hong Kong is the combination of a birth rate of 0.8 births for every woman of childbearing age, and the prediction that by 2031, a quarter of Hong Kong's population will be over 65. Experts say it is hard to persuade people with two children to have a third, but that the government should instead focus efforts on encouraging childless couples to become parents. BBC News has more.

 

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