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Photo: SheldonCooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Chinese government is considering the possibility of lifting family planning restrictions by 2025 amid stagnating population and economic growth, sources tell the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The move reflects "increased urgency in Beijing as economic growth slows and China’s population mix skews older," the Journal writes.

The big picture: The once-a-decade Chinese census, released in May, revealed that China's population grew at its slowest pace in over half a century. The annual average growth rate was 0.53% since 2010, compared to a 0.57% rate from the prior decade, BBC reports.

  • The country recorded a fertility rate of 1.3 children per woman, "the fourth consecutive year the number of new births declined," the South China Morning Post notes.
  • China last month announced it was relaxing restrictions by allowing couples to have three children, up from two. The country had imposed a one-child policy in 1979 to slow population growth.

Details: A source told the Journal that they expect the country will start eliminating birth restrictions in regions, particularly in the Northeast, where birthrates are low, before enacting any nationwide changes.

Between the lines: "Ending birth restrictions is not enough to reverse the trend of negative population growth in our province," researchers in the Jilin province wrote in a report released in February.

  • "It is also necessary to introduce policies to encourage childbirth based on real-world conditions."

Go deeper

Sep 24, 2021 - Axios Tampa Bay

Tampa's Hispanic population booms

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Tampa Bay is playing a big part in the country's Latino boom.

  • A new census analysis shows the Hispanic or Latino population in the U.S. grew by 23% during the past decade, but as Axios' Stef W. Kight reports, metro areas like ours saw a population boom three or more times that rate.
Updated 29 mins ago - World

Biden cleans up comments about Russia invading Ukraine

Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden sought to clarify his suggestion that a "minor incursion" by Russia into Ukraine may not draw the same response as a large invasion, telling reporters Thursday that "Russia will pay a heavy price" if any troops cross the border.

Why it matters: Some officials in Kyiv saw Biden's comments as inviting Russian aggression.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
42 mins ago - Health

Study finds bias against Black patients written into medical charts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Black patients were more than two-and-a-half times as likely as white patients to have negative descriptors about them in their electronic health record, according to a study published Wednesday in Health Affairs.

Why it matters: The study is further evidence of bias in the U.S. health care system, which can ultimately result in worse care and disparately poor outcomes.