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Does China Still Abide by One-Child Policy in 2021?

No, China has a Three-child policy from August 20, 2021.

On August 20, 2021, China's legislature, the National People's Congress, amend the Population and Family Planning Law of China to write the three-child policy into the law.

The history of China’s population policy has three stages:

(1) Before 2015

Under the previous version of Population and Family Planning Law of China (“the Law”), one child per married couple was encouraged.

Generally, couples who have two or more children are required to pay social maintenance fees to the government. The standard of social maintenance fees is determined by the provincial governments.


Since 2015, China has encouraged one couple to have two children.

In 2015, China revised the Law, which provided for a two-child policy.


On May 11, 2021, the Chinese government released a report on the seventh national census data. The report stated that China’s “aged population has further deepened, and it will continue to face the pressure of balanced population development for a long time in the future.”

The report enabled China to quickly adjust its population policy.

On July 20, 2021, the Chinese government promulgated a new policy, deciding to implement the policy that a couple can have three children. This policy comes from the "Decision on Optimizing Fertility Policies to Promote Long-term and Balanced Population Development"(关于优化生育政策促进人口长期均衡发展的决定) promulgated by the State Council on this day.

Soon after, on August 20, 2021, the National People's Congress revised the Population and Family Planning Law accordingly.

Therefore, China has actually begun to implement the three-child policy.




Population and Family Planning Law of China (2001): Article 18, 41.

Population and Family Planning Law of China (2015): Article 18, 41.

Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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