China’s estimates on this one seems to have gone awry.
After imposing the one-child rule on the Chinese for years together, in Oct 2015, it lifted the ban and said that couples could now have two children and had anticipated a surge in birth rates. They had estimated an increase of 4 million births a year through 2020. But last year number showed an increase by just 1.31% to 17.86 million. That prompted the government to consider measures such as "birth rewards and subsidies" to help encourage more people to have another child.
The largest online job portal in China, Zhaopin.com, conducted a survey and found that 49.7% of the working women population does not want to have children at all while 43.3% are ok for one child. Only 7% agreed to two or more children. The phenomenon isn't unique to China, given the pressures that working women face around the globe.
Child-bearing may also lead to real financial or career losses. The survey found 33% of women had their pay cut after giving birth and 36% were demoted. Among the top reasons cited for not having kids by the Zhaopin.com survey are "not enough time and energy" and "too expensive to raise children."
Clearly, China needs to incentivize or else it will have a very large “grey” population.