The number of second children born in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province surpassed the number of first children during the past six months, which experts said shows that the second-child policy was not "unpopular and ineffective" as some reports had presumed.
The Guangzhou Health and Family Planning Commission released the figures about the birth of second children on Tuesday and vowed to build more maternity and child-care centers, chinanews.com reported on Wednesday.
Among the 123,600 babies born in Guangzhou from October 2016 to March 2017, 70,800 are second children, said the commission.
Around 43 percent of the babies born in September 2016 in Guangzhou are second children, while that figure surpassed 57 percent in March, according to the commission.
Hu Bingjie, a spokesperson for the Guangzhou health commission, told a press conference on Tuesday that the city has made plans to better ensure the health of new mothers and children, including free examinations such as the premarital checkups, pre-pregnancy physical examinations and newborn health screenings.
The fact that this phenomenon has been seen in a first-tier city like Guangzhou shows that the second-child policy has led to a greater increase in births than some reports initially predicted, Yuan Xin, a professor at Nankai University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
Yuan said that he believes about 18 million to 20 million women nationwide will have their second child in the next five to eight years.
China allowed all couples to have a second child in January 2016.
Guangdong Province, East China's Shandong Province and Central China's Henan Province have the highest number of couples willing to have a second child, the Beijing Evening News reported.
The three provinces are also China's most populous ones, with Guangdong's population topping 100 million and the other two both having more than 90 million residents.
There were more than 17 million children born in China in 2016, of whom as many as 8.3 million were second children, about 45 percent of the total, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
Yuan said that most of the second children born in 2016 belong to couples among whom at least one person is from a single-child family.
(Source: China Daily)