BEIJING — China’s ruling Communist Party says it will ease birth limits to allow all couples to have three children instead of two in hopes of slowing the rapid aging of its population, which is adding to strains on the economy and society.
The ruling party has enforced birth limits since 1980 to restrain population growth but worries the number of working-age people is falling too fast. That threatens to disrupt its ambitions to transform China into a prosperous consumer society and global technology leader.
The Associated Press also reported that leaders in China also agreed that the country must raise its retirement age in order to keep more people in the workforce.
Restrictions that limited most couples to one child were eased in 2015 to allow two, but the number of births fell, suggesting changes in the rules on their own have had little impact on the trend.
Earlier this month, data showed that population growth in China had slowed to 0.53% over the past 10 years, its slowest growth in decades.
The Associated Press reports that couples in China have been put off by the high costs of raising children, disruption to their jobs and the tough balance of caring for kids while also caring for elderly parents.