Affordable Goods, Pricey Parenthood: China Tops List As Most Expensive Place To Raise Children

China ranks among priciest for child-rearing, impacting low fertility, driven by disproportionate effects on women.

Affordable Goods, Pricey Parenthood: China Tops List As Most Expensive Place To Raise Children

Expense, work-family balance key in declining birthrate and shrinking population.

China is commonly acknowledged as a prominent global manufacturer of affordable products and services. However, it is noteworthy that the country ranks among the most expensive places worldwide for raising a child, surpassing the relative costs in both the United States and Japan, according to a new study.

The findings of the study that was conducted by the YuWa Population Research Institute reveal that raising a child in China is no small feat, costing an average of $74,800 until age 17, and a staggering $94,500 for a full bachelor's degree. This financial burden is particularly heavy, as it's 6.3 times higher than China's GDP per capita, surpassing all but South Korea's eye-watering 7.79 times ratio. The report highlights a stark contrast with other developed nations, with child-rearing costs only 2-4 times the GDP per capita in Australia, France, the US, and Japan. These findings raise concerns about the impact on fertility rates in China, which is already facing a demographic decline and an aging population.

The study was led by Liang Jianzhang, a notable entrepreneur and economics professor at Peking University.

As per a report from The Guardian, China's population declined for the second consecutive year last year, raising concerns for the government as it faces challenges in supporting an aging population with a diminishing workforce. The number of births in 2023 was slightly over 9 million, which is approximately half of the 2016 figure.

More women are opting to delay or forgo motherhood due to concerns about its negative impact on their careers and finances. In 2017, the government abandoned the long-standing one-child policy and now encourages women to have up to three children. Some provinces have even eliminated restrictions on the number of children a household can register.