Cost of raising children increasing in China
Beijing, April 17: Nowadays, the education of a child is quite expensive. According to a study, the difference in cost according to the country is sky-high.
Recently, an American financial services provider named Jefferies conducted a study on this. A list of 14 countries has been prepared based on the data emerging from their study. South Korea tops the list.
Raising a child up to the age of 18 in South Korea costs the most money than any other country.
China is placed second on the list, followed by Italy. Germany is ahead of the United States of America, followed by Japan, in the list of expensive countries to raise children up to the age of 18.
There is no cost to give birth to a child in China, however it's quite expensive to raise and teach one. If we calculate this with the income of a person in that country, then it will be seen that China is the most expensive country to raise a child, in terms of income. The main cost of raising children there is the expenditure on education.
According to Jefferies, since most pre-primary schools in China are private, the cost is high. It costs USD 75,000 (about Tk 65 lakh) to teach a child up to the age of 18 in China. Later, it cost USD 22,000 (about Tk 19 lakh) for education at the university.
The USA is a little different. Although the cost of education is lower than in China, there is a key difference. Student loans can be availed to ease the burden of education. But in reality, after the completion of education, in most cases, the parents have to repay the loan.
According to data provided by the US college board, 55 percent of students graduated with a debt burden in the 2019-20 academic year. However, Beijing is taking several steps to make post-school education more accessible. Researchers at Jefferies say the government's next goal is to reduce the cost of studying in nurseries and kindergartens.
Concerned about the issue, the Xi Jinping government has announced an increase in the number of nursery schools for those under the age of three by 2025, in its five-year plan. Four schools per 1,000 — will be increased at this rate. That's about two and a half times as much as before.
The Jefferies analysis said, "The birth rate in rich countries is lower than in developing countries. What is called the 'demographic-economic paradox' in the language of psychology is that financially strong people prefer to have fewer children than those with low incomes."
As China is also becoming financially strong, the idea of a 'demographic-economic paradox' is likely to spread among its people, like other developed countries, among its inhabitants. As a result, the birth rate may fall below expectations. But Chinese couples are currently reluctant to have multiple children because of the high cost of upbringing. However, studies have shown that couples in western countries want to have two to three children.
birth rates have a significant impact on the economy. The decline in the working population creates problems for the elderly population to keep pace with welfare measures, including social security and pensions. As the number of employees decreases, it can increase the need for automation to replace it.