China, in a bid to bolster its falling birth rate, has made it legal for unmarried people in the Sichuan province to have children legally. The southwestern province of Sichuan is China's fifth most populous province. According to a Reuters report about 21 per cent of the region's population is older than 60.
From February 15, any individual who wishes to have a family can have offspring in Shichuan a region, where earlier, only married women were allowed to give birth. There won't be a ceiling on the number of children they can register for.
The measure aims to "promote long-term and balanced population development," Sichuan's health commission said in a statement on its website. Benefits such as insurance to cover maternity-related bills, and letting women keep their salary while on maternity leave will now be extended to unmarried women.
In 2022, China's population shrank for the first time in six decades. China was known for its notorious one-child policy it imposed from 1980-2015, which is a major reason for its demographic downturn.