China / Hot Issues

High cost of second child discourages many

By Yang Wanli (China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-15 08:25

While the change of family planning policy allows couples to have an additional child legally, the high costs associated with growing a family discourages those who can't afford even one.

The husband of a woman in Henan province recently filed for divorce because she had been using contraceptives without telling him. She was convinced that they could not afford to raise a child, according to news website

The couple reportedly earned a total monthly income of 3,000 yuan ($448).

Earlier this week, the lawsuit was dismissed because the court believed the man and woman were not incompatible, as the man had alleged. But the case became a hot topic on social media, receiving many comments from frustrated couples who complained about the heavy burden of raising a child, especially in metropolises.

It's not the first time for a couple to turn to the court to settle a dispute about whether to have a second child. In February, a couple in Zhejiang province reportedly divorced because the husband insisted on having another child but the wife refused. conducted a survey earlier this year of more than 128,000 respondents. It showed that 40 percent of eligible people would not have a second child. The main reason was financial pressure.

Last year, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences released a report showing that the average cost of raising a child from birth to 16 years old in China is 490,000 yuan. In 2015, the country's per capita disposable income was 21,966 yuan, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

"The bill for education is a major cost," said Lu Yan, 33, the father of a 6-year-old boy in Beijing. "Competition in big cities forces parents to pay extra fees to send their children to elite schools or after-school classes."

The quality of child-raising is much more important than the quantity of children, according to Xiao Ling, a marriage consultant in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.

High cost of second child discourages many