Migrants are fuelling a baby boom, with officials warning birth
rates may outstrip the city's resources.
Guangzhou, one of the economic powerhouses of South China, is
currently home to more than 3.6 million migrants.
Sources with the Guangzhou Population and Family Planning Bureau
said migrant births in the city totalled 79,812 last year, an
increase of 7.9 per cent over 2005.
Migrants are people who live legally in the city but are
"The growing migrant population is the main cause for the
increasing number of births, Duan Jianhua, an official with the
bureau, told China Daily yesterday.
"If measures to curb the rising birth rates within migrant
families are not taken, the city will experience a population
explosion," said Duan.
Zhu Xiaodan, Party secretary for Guangzhou, said at a work
meeting last week that the city currently has a population of
nearly 12 million, including migrant people and those with
permanent residence certificates.
The city, with an area of 7,434 square kilometers, is only able
to host 15 million people, Zhu said.
"With the increasing number of migrants, we will see a sharp
decrease in available natural resources in the near future," Zhu
Meanwhile, Zhu said the number of babies born in the surrounding
rural areas had also risen in recent years.
"People in rural areas have not changed their views on
childbirth, leading to an unbalanced gender birthrate," Zhu
Zhu called for further promotion of family planning knowledge
among rural families.
"In addition, we will strengthen management efforts for migrant
people, and build a system to record migrants' information in terms
of employment, living standards and family planning, in a bid to
better control the rising birthrate," said Zhu.
(China Daily February 13, 2007)