Chinese city uses lotto tickets to spur births

Chinese city uses lotto tickets to spur births

Xian offering inducement to newlyweds to encourage more marriages

A woman with a baby walks through a store selling baby products in Shanghai. (Photo: Reuters)
A woman with a baby walks through a store selling baby products in Shanghai. (Photo: Reuters)

HONG KONG - Authorities in the Chinese city of Xian will spend 700,000 yuan (3.6 million baht) on lottery tickets to give as prizes to newlyweds who present a marriage certificate, in an effort to encourage weddings at a time of fewer births.

China’s population fell in 2023 for a second consecutive year, with new births dropping to about half those in 2016, while marriages hit a record low in 2022.

With marriage rates closely tied to birth rates as unmarried mothers are often denied child-raising benefits, Xian promised a lottery ticket to any couple presenting a marriage certificate from March 1, as “a double surprise”.

“This is not only the beginning of a happy life after receiving the marriage certificate but also more likely to get a small gift,” the city’s civil affairs bureau said this week on its official Wechat account.

The campaign will run until Nov 30, it added.

China is one of the world’s most expensive places to bring up a child, relative to its GDP per capita, a prominent Chinese think-tank said in February as it detailed the time and opportunity cost for women who give birth.

Fewer women are opting to have children, put off by the high cost of childcare or an unwillingness to marry or put their careers on hold, while gender discrimination persists.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (1)