China is considering ending its limits on childbirth by 2025 after finding its population growth is slowing down.
People familiar with the internal discussions told The Wall Street Journal the country could completely eliminate its childbirth restrictions at the end of the government’s current five-year economic plan.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics found in May the country’s birth rate dropped for four consecutive years from 2016 to 2020.
Xinjiang province has reportedly seen the sharpest birth rate drop globally since 1950.
Sources told the Journal that China would start easing restrictions in areas with the lowest birth rates before moving to other provinces.
China has an aging population due to its policies to sterilize women, force abortions on them, fine and give jail time to those who break rules surrounding giving birth.
The policies have also led the country to have more men than women as many baby girls have been aborted or killed.
Beijing ended its one-child policy back in 2016, and last month it lifted the cap again to three children in order to combat its population concerns.
Officials in China are worried about doing away with the limits altogether because they don’t want poor families to have too many kids, people familiar with the discussion told Journal.
Officials said it could put more people in poverty if the cap is lifted in poorer areas.