China is Offering Couples a Cash Incentive to Get Married Before They Turn 25

The county of Changshan hopes to encourage “age-appropriate marriage and childbearing” by offering 1,000 yuan ($137) in an effort to boost wedding numbers

Local Chinese officials are offering money to newlywed couples who tie the knot within a certain timeframe, according to multiple reports.

The county of Changshan in the Zhejiang province announced on its WeChat official account last week that it would give 1,000 yuan ($137) to couples who wed when the bride is 25 or younger.

The notice said the reward — only for first-time marriages — aims to encourage “age-appropriate marriage and childbearing,” per WeChat. There are “Policy Targets,” which include “At least one of the men and women is registered in Changshan County" and both parties “are the object of the first marriage," according to the notice.

To address the demographic crisis in China, where the population dropped last year for the first time in 60 years, officials from different levels of government have been trying out various ways to encourage more births, according to NBC News.

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Fighting to slow the rapid population growth China has been facing since the late 1970s, the government enforced a “one-child policy” that restricted the number of births per couple, according to the outlet. This policy was abolished seven years ago. Since 2021, couples have been permitted to have up to three children.

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Despite the government’s efforts, China’s fertility rate reached a record low of 1.09 last year, per NBC News. According to the China Population and Development Research Center, the country has the lowest number of children per woman among every country with more than 100 million people, according to the outlet.

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In June, Chinese news outlet Yicai reported only 6.8 million couples married in China last year — the lowest number of marriages since 1986, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

“Young people now pursue a life that revolves around their own personal development and pleasure, instead of a life that revolves around a child,” Yuan Xin, vice-president of the China Population Association said, according to Firstpost, adding, “If starting a family stands in the way of their own development and happiness, they will opt out of giving birth, or even marriage.”

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