Couples in China’s Sichuan province will be permitted to have as many children as they wish, as the country attempts to address its declining population.
China’s population fell for the first time in 60 years last year.
For decades, the country had a one-child policy, which will be increased to three children for married couples in 2021.
Unmarried people in Sichuan will now be able to raise children as part of the policy change.
Previously, single women could not register a birth.
China repealed its contentious one-child policy, which had been in place since 1979. Families who violated the rules were fined and, in some cases, lost their jobs.
In a culture that has traditionally preferred boys over girls, the policy resulted in forced abortions.
However, the changes implemented in 2016 did not halt the decline in the birth rate. In China, deaths outnumbered births for the first time last year.
There will be no limit on the number of children that people can have in Sichuan, a province of 80 million people in China’s southwest.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has prioritized increasing birth rates. To reverse or slow the decline in rates, the government has offered tax breaks and improved maternal healthcare.
It comes as China continues to battle Covid-related deaths across the country. After zero-Covid restrictions were lifted in December, the virus ravaged towns and cities.
Birth rates in neighboring countries, including Japan, are also declining. As a result, Japan’s prime minister claims, his country is on the verge of being unable to function as a society.