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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.

Stock buybacks boom as corporate cash piles grow

The Delta variant is keeping more companies cautious about how to invest the mountains of cash they have at their disposal. That hesitancy has led, in part, to corporate spending on stock buybacks outpacing capital expenditures this year. 

Why it matters: Companies hoarded cash and raised prices over the past year — leaving them with a lot of money and decisions about what to do with it.

2 hours ago - Health

Health policies at stake in Democrats' infrastructure bet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Democrats are at a pivotal moment in their quest to expand health care coverage, slash the cost of prescription drugs and create a social structure that prioritizes people's health.

Driving the news: Democrats have a clear list of health care priorities they'll be fighting for this week. Among them is a measure to expand Medicare to cover dental, vision and hearing benefits.