Chinese city gives out lottery tickets to boost birth rates

Photo of Mitch Connor
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Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Authorities in Xi’an, China, are rolling the dice on love with a jaw-dropping scheme aimed at tackling the nation’s plummeting birth rates.

In a bold move to combat China’s declining birth rates, the city of Xi’an is set to splash a whopping 700,000 yuan (equivalent to 3.6 million baht) on lottery tickets, all in the name of encouraging newlyweds to tie the knot. As the nation grapples with a sharp decline in childbirths for the second year running, and with marriage rates hitting an all-time low in 2022, local authorities are pulling out all the stops to reverse the trend.

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Marriage and childbirth are intrinsically linked, with unmarried mothers often deprived of crucial child-raising benefits. Hence, Xi’an has unveiled a groundbreaking initiative: presenting a lottery ticket as a double surprise to any couple flaunting their marriage certificate starting March 1.

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The city’s civil affairs bureau declared this week via its official WeChat social media account that a marriage certificate not only marks the beginning of a happy life as a couple but also increases the chance of receiving a small gift, reported Bangkok Post.

The campaign, slated to run until November 30, is a testament to the city’s determination to address the demographic crisis head-on. China’s reputation as one of the most financially burdensome places to raise a child, relative to its GDP per capita, has been underscored by a prominent Chinese think-tank. It highlighted the substantial time and opportunity costs women face when deciding to give birth.

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Factors such as exorbitant childcare expenses and lingering gender discrimination have deterred many women from embracing motherhood or committing to marriage, fearing it could derail their careers. However, Xi’an’s audacious lottery gambit could mark a turning point in the nation’s quest to rejuvenate its dwindling population.

In related news, Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health is set to introduce strategies designed to encourage artificial insemination and support those who wish to become parents, encompassing the LGBTQ community as well. The drive is part of an initiative to increase the country’s birth rate.

China NewsEconomy NewsThailand News

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