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China May Ease One-Child Policy in 2013

Facing a rapidly aging population, China is considering easing its one-child policy.

The strict policy has been in place since 1979, looking to curb population growth in a country that has reached 1.34 billion people. The new proposals allow for couples in urban areas to have a second child, even if both parents themselves have siblings. Currently, couples who are only children are allowed a second child, though the restrictions in rural areas are a bit looser.

Demographers in China have said the policy has led to an older population, which may hamper the country’s emerging economic strength. Officials say the rising cost of raising children in the increasingly prosperous nation will help naturally curb population growth.