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29 Aug, 2023 22:05

Chinese region offers ‘rewards’ for brides under 25

The measure is supposed to promote “age-appropriate marriage and childbearing,” an eastern Chinese county has said
Chinese region offers ‘rewards’ for brides under 25

Changshan County, located in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang, is now offering cash “rewards” to couples if the bride is aged 25 or younger. The reward of 1,000 yuan (some $137) is supposed to encourage more young people to get married.

The rewards system was announced on the county's official WeChat account last week. The measure is ostensibly meant to promote “age-appropriate marriage and childbearing” among young people. The system, however, does not offer any requirements for the grooms of newlywed couples. Apart from the cash lump sum, the county is now offering a series of childcare and education subsidies for couples who have children.

The announcement comes as China marked its first population decline in six decades, with the country’s National Bureau of Statistics reporting last January a drop in around 850,000 people for a population of over 1.41 billion in 2022. The drop is the first one on record since 1961 – the last year of China’s Great Famine.

Earlier this month, China also reported an alarming drop in fertility rates, which reached a record low of 1.09 last year, according to figures from China’s Population and Development Research Center. The figure puts China at the lowest fertility level among countries with a population of more than 100 million, as well as among the world’s lowest altogether, such as South Korea and Singapore.