China Youth Daily, China Youth Daily reporter Hu Chunyan
The issue of young people giving birth to children has become a topic that has been frequently mentioned at the National People's Congress and the National People's Congress.
A series of supporting policies and measures to improve the birth of three children have also appeared in the government work reports of many provinces.
In fact, in order to relieve the worries of young people, since the end of last year, many places in China announced to amend the regulations on family planning, extend maternity leave, improve maternity benefits, and improve childcare services.
For example, the new regulations promulgated in Tianjin increase maternity leave (maternity leave) for 60 days for women, while men enjoy 15 days of paternity leave.
This means that a woman can take up to 158 days of maternity leave.
Parents with children under the age of 3 can enjoy 10 days of parental leave each year.
Social forces to set up nursery institutions are also encouraged.
Support the reduction of the age for enrolling young children in kindergartens to 2 years old, and encourage employers to provide welfare childcare services for employees in the workplace individually or jointly.
Similar positive policies to encourage fertility appeared in the government work reports of many places in the new year.
For example, this year's Hainan provincial government work report pointed out that the supporting measures for the birth of three children should be improved, and the number of nurses per 1,000 people will reach 2.5.
During parental leave, parents will be paid and enjoy full-time pay.
"The establishment of a policy system to support active fertility is conducive to promoting the long-term balanced development of the population." said Liu Zhisong, director of the Institute of Law of the Tianjin Academy of Social Sciences.
According to the latest survey results of the "Research on Fertility Willingness and Demands for Birth Support Policy" (hereinafter referred to as the "Research Group") of the Tianjin Academy of Social Sciences, the ideal number of children in the minds of young people of the right age group is significantly higher than the actual number of children. .
Liu Zhisong believes that this discrepancy between psychological will and actual action is the potential space for improving fertility levels and realizing population growth.
Regardless of any limiting factors, 48.8% of the school-age group ideally have 2 children
For a large country with a population of 1.4 billion, my country's population size pressure and demographic challenges coexist.
Liu Zhisong believes that the accelerated arrival of the three major trends of aging, low birthrate and non-marriage is an important factor restricting the long-term balanced development of my country's population.
At the National People's Congress in 2021, Zheng Gongcheng, deputy to the National People's Congress and president of the China Society for Labor and Social Security, pointed out the current demographic imbalance in my country - the era of low birthrates and an aging population has arrived.
He used a set of figures to illustrate the low willingness of the Chinese population to have children, and the problem that the total fertility rate has fallen below the warning line: the proportion of the population under the age of 14 to the total population has dropped from 33.6% in 1982 to 16.8% in 2019, and the per capita population Less than 3 people.
In order to have a more in-depth understanding of the birth status, willingness to bear, and demand for birth support policies of the appropriate age groups, the research group conducted a survey on the appropriate age groups in Tianjin.
Liu Zhisong said that Tianjin has a population of nearly 14 million, and the phenomenon that the fertility rate has continued to decline in recent years is representative of several megacities in China, which can reflect many common problems.
A total of 3,964 valid questionnaires were collected by the research group, covering the urban areas, towns and rural areas of Tianjin.
The average age of the respondents was 28.4 years old, 46.8% were first married, 49.9% were unmarried, and 3.3% were remarried or otherwise; in addition, specific issues such as education level, occupational distribution, living status, family model, and whether the population was floating were also considered. inside.
The survey results show that without considering any limiting factors, 48.8% of the school-age group ideally have 2 children, and 5.7% ideally have 3 or more children; After taking into account multiple practical factors such as social environment and social environment, the proportion of planning to have two children dropped to 35.6%, and the proportion of planning to have three or more children was 2.5%.
And this number is still only in the plan and imagination, and there is still a long way to go from the real birth number.
The survey found that only 16.7% of families with one child planned to have a second child; among those with two children, only 8.9% planned to have a third child.
Obviously, these parents, who have experienced pressures in all aspects of life by raising their first child, say they are no longer choosing to have a second and third child, mainly due to factors such as lack of energy, high work pressure and financial burden.
Still others are not planning to have children at all.
In recent years, the marriage and childbearing ages of young people have been continuously delayed. In 2019, the average first marriage age and average first childbearing age of young people in Tianjin were 28.6 and 29.4 years old respectively.
A trend that needs to be vigilant is that some young people are changing from "late marriage and late childbearing" to "unmarried and sterile".
Obviously, parents' anxiety about raising children directly affects their willingness to bear children.
The survey found that the top three main pressures facing childbearing are economic pressure (84.0%), work pressure (71.7%) and education pressure (66.3%) among the school-age groups.
At the same time, the time and energy cost of raising children, family pressure and psychological pressure are also major sources of stress.
In the process of having children, mothers face even more pressure.
Liu Zhisong said that according to the survey by the research group, women are more interested in this topic and more willing to express their opinions.
First, fertility can have an impact on women's career development.
45.3% of the respondents believe that fertility has a great impact on the career development of women, 45.4% of the respondents believe that it has a certain impact, and the combined proportion of the two is more than 90%.
In addition, most mothers put more effort into raising children than fathers.
Regarding the main measures to alleviate the impact of childbirth on women's career development, more respondents tend to choose to provide a flexible working system suitable for working women, accounting for 80.2%; those who choose to continue to improve the maternity and breastfeeding leave policy and protect women's employment rights through legislation The proportion is also relatively large, accounting for 78.4% and 65.2% respectively; in addition, more than half of the people believe that it is necessary to improve the combined system of maternity insurance and employee medical insurance, explore more flexible working methods of working from home, and implement preferential tax policies for maternity in enterprises.
Leveraging the fertility potential of young people needs to improve the policy support system in an all-round way
From letting go of the second child to a couple who can have three children, the relaxation of my country's fertility policy is not just a change in numbers, it will also be supported by a series of social supporting policies.
The survey found that everyone’s demand for maternity support policies mainly focuses on ensuring women’s legal rights and interests in equal employment, reducing or exempting children’s medical expenses, and providing maternity subsidies for childbearing families. In addition, housing, maternity leave (paternity leave), tax relief, education There is also a greater demand for related support policies such as pregnancy and infant support, and childcare.
In this regard, the research group believes that it is necessary to improve support policies in an all-round way through economy, service, law, and social culture.
First of all, we should explore the implementation of differentiated economic subsidy policies and individual tax deduction policies that are progressively deducted according to the number of children.
Liu Zhisong believes that such a subsidy system should support the full cycle of childbirth. It is necessary to establish an economic subsidy system from pregnancy health care, pregnancy and childbirth, childcare to children receiving compulsory education, including pregnancy health care subsidies, hospital delivery subsidies, and childcare subsidies. .
In terms of the design of the individual tax system and other systems, it is recommended to appropriately increase the special additional deductions for children's education at the pre-school education and university education stages, so as to share the cost of family childbirth and rearing.
At present, there is a phenomenon in many large cities that the existing childcare service resources are far from meeting the needs of families for infant and childcare. Therefore, it is very important to increase the supply of childcare services and develop an inclusive childcare service system.
Among them, it is necessary to clarify the public service attributes of childcare services, divide the responsibilities of the government, families, enterprises and society in the construction of the childcare service system, and focus on solving the problems of insufficient service supply, insufficient financial security, low professional level of service teams, and social supervision. Not in place and other service shortcomings.
Another key issue that cannot be ignored is to protect the legitimate rights and interests of women in employment and reduce the opportunity cost of women's fertility.
Liu Zhisong believes that systems such as extended maternity leave and male paternity leave should be properly formulated, and flexible work systems and flexible working methods suitable for working women should be explored; It is to ensure equal promotion space for women.
To achieve this, we must also increase the law enforcement and supervision of relevant government departments to fully protect the legitimate rights and interests of women in employment.
In addition, the whole society should focus on reshaping the social culture of marriage and childbirth, strengthen the education and guidance of marriageable young people's concept of marriage and family, and eliminate young people's anxiety and fear of childbirth.
He reminded that it is also necessary to encourage couples to share the responsibility of parenting and eliminate the anxiety of involution in child rearing, so as to leverage the reproductive potential and enthusiasm of young people of suitable age for marriage and parenting.Keywords: