China’s ruling Communist Party announced Thursday that it will abolish the country’s decades-old one-child policy and allow all couples to have two children, removing remaining restrictions that limited many urban couples to only one, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
The move to allow all couples to have two children was “to improve the balanced development of population” and to deal with an aging population, Xinhua said on its microblog.
Citigroup researchers said they expected a 5 to 10 percent rise in Chinese births, according to The Associated Press.
The widely unpopular policy was first introduced in 1979 as a temporary measure to curb a surging population and limit demands for water and other resources. It was long considered one of the party’s most onerous intrusions into family life.