China has announced the end of its hugely controversial one-child policy today, with official state media confirming that all couples will now be allowed to have two children.
Government changes controversial one child policy, to two per family
Despite being the world's second largest economy after the US, there have been growing concerns over China's ageing population since the one child policy was introduced in 1980.
A communique was issued by the ruling Communist Party following a four-day meeting in Beijing to chart the country's plans for the next five years.
The radical family planning policy was adopted to reduce the country's high birth rate, which has been very effective in minimising the population until now.
The policy restricted most couples to only a single offspring, and for years authorities argued that it was a key contributor to China's economic boom.
Finally, after years of strict, sometimes brutal enforcement by a dedicated government commission, China's population, the world's largest, is now ageing rapidly, gender imbalances are severe, and its workforce is shrinking.
This has ultimately led to the increase to two children per family, for fear that their race might die out.
JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: