A county in China is offering newlywed couples a “reward” of 1,000 yuan (£109) if the bride is aged 25 and under, as the country battles a declining birth rate and searches for ways to get young people to marry.
Changshan county said the reward was to promote “age-appropriate marriage and childbearing” for first marriages.
It also announced a series of childcare, fertility and education subsidies for couples who have children.
Marriage rates in China hit a record low in 2022 at 6.8 million, the lowest since 1986 – and down 800,000 from the previous year.
The drop in marriages has driven down birth rates, with official policies making it hard for single women to have children.
China’s fertility rate, already one of the world’s lowest, dropped to a record low of 1.09 in 2022, according to estimates reported by state media.
Many women are put off having more children – or any at all – because of high childcare costs and the impacts on their careers.
Gender discrimination and traditional stereotypes of women caring for children are still widespread in China.
Low consumer confidence and growing concerns over the health of China’s economy are also key factors cited by young Chinese for not wanting to get married and have children.
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