Beijing: China, the world`s most populous country which once strictly followed the one-child norm, is now considering allowing a second child for all couples.
China could further relax its one-child policy to allow all couples across the country to have a second child, reported Global Times.
China currently has a population of 1.3 billion. India is close behind with a population of 1.2 billion.
In China, 29 provinces and municipalities have relaxed the one-child policy to allow couples to have a second baby if either parent is from a single-child family.
Online polls show that a majority of Chinese support the second-child policy, but analysts say they are concerned that young couples are showing less interest in having more children.
An anonymous researcher, who reportedly participated in a National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) survey, told China Business News that the second-child policy can be applied "as early as the end of 2015 if everything goes well".
Lu Jiehua, a professor at Peking University, told the Global Times that the NHFPC is likely to implement the revised policy in the near future but said "it`s unlikely that the policy could be fully implemented in 2015 - probably next year, or at the beginning of China`s 13th Five-Year Plan".
"It`s not simply about implementing a second-child policy," Lu was quoted as saying. "All relevant policies, regulations, formalities and facilities need to be in place to support (the second-child policy), and it takes time."
Mu Guangzong, a professor at Peking University`s Institute of Population Research, told the Global Times that "relaxing the current policy meets public expectations".
"The country needs to maintain a moderate fertility rate for a healthy and sustainable development, as the present fertility rate is low."
China suffered a third consecutive annual drop in its workforce in 2014, 3.7 million less than the previous year, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics in January.