7 out of 10 unmarried couples in China want 2 children

Wen Changlin and Zhang Feng pose for a picture with their son at home in Ningxiang county of Changsha, Hunan province. China will ease family planning restrictions to allow all couples to have two children after decades of a strict one-child policy, the ruling Communist Party said on October 29, 2015, a move aimed at alleviating demographic strains on the economy.
PHOTO: Reuters

Nearly seven out of 10 unmarried people in a recent online survey by a large dating website said they want two children.

About 3,000 of Zhenai.com's 90 million members chose to participate in the survey at the end of last year. It posed questions related to China's new two-child family planning policy, with 67 per cent saying they wanted two children.

The results were published on Wednesday.

The number was slightly higher-70.8 per cent-for singles with a monthly salary greater than 20,000 yuan ($3,000).

Li Song, a co-founder of the website who holds a PhD in finance, said these people have comparably strong financial resources for raising two children, and the figure suggests that income influences people's decisions on family size.

Also, Li said, "Unmarried people now were mainly born in 1980s and 1990s. As the single child in their families, they wish their children can grow up with siblings."

"I always wanted to have a big family of my own, and I strongly support the policy of allowing a couple to have a second child," said Liu Xiao, a 33-year-old single woman in Beijing. However, she thought her desire to have two children might be wishful thinking.

"I am tied up with work every day in an international firm and paid nearly 20,000 yuan a month last year. I am afraid if I have two children after getting married, I'm not likely to keep the job, which has a high salary, because part of the salary is from working overtime and frequent business trips," she said.

In big cities, the decision to have two children involves the stability of family income and career sacrifice, she added.

"I hate to be lonely, which is one of the reasons I want to have a big family. I was raised in a lonely environment without any siblings. Of course, the biggest issue for me right now is to find a man to have children with."

Shenzhen, Beijing and Shanghai had the largest number of respondents who said they had been single for more than three years, according to the survey.

Li said young single men and women choose these cities to settle because of career opportunities, and it is natural that some people make work a priority and give less time to organising a family.

Of the reasons for staying single, nearly 47 per cent of male respondents said they are "not good enough to ask a woman to marry", while only 16 per cent of female respondents felt the same way.

More than half of female respondents say they haven't found a man good enough for marriage.

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