China, expected baby boom of ‘special children’ in the Year of the Dragon

It is the zodiac sign considered the luckiest and most auspicious. Hospitals across the nation have posted timetables and tips to educate couples on when to conceive

”A significant increase in births”. Or better, a real baby boom what the Chinese authorities and medical personnel expect during this lunar year of the Dragon. For the post-pandemic recovery after Covid-19 certainly, as well as for the policies implemented by Beijing to support fertility and procreation, but above all because many couples bet on the so-called ‘dragon children’. The Dragon is indeed the zodiac sign considered luckiest and most auspicious and for this reason, according to Zhai Zhenwu, president of the China Population Association and professor at Renmin University of China, in 2024 there will be a notable increase in the birth rate compared to 2023, although it is difficult to predict by how much.

As the only mythical creature of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, the dragon is considered divine and powerful. Many therefore believe that children born in the Year of the Dragon are more likely to have success and luck throughout their lives. The dragon is also associated with intelligence, confidence and ambition. There are also couples who opt for IVF or schedule cesarean section to ensure that their children are born in the year of the Dragon or ask doctors to delay the birth.

The superstition is not entirely unfounded, notes the Washington Post. According to a 2019 study using data from China, those born during the Year of the Dragon were more likely to score higher on college entrance exams and to have a college education. But the reason, the study concluded, had nothing to do with the cosmos. Rather, it was the extra time and money that parents spent on those children that gave them a better chance of success. ”People think that these ‘dragon kids’ are special and want to have special children. When they have these children, they invest in them and expect great things from them. This makes them successful and the cycle continues,” said Naci Mocan, an economics professor at Louisiana State University and one of the study’s authors. “That’s why it’s been going on like this for centuries and generations,” he adds.

Hospitals across China have posted timetables and tips to educate couples on when to conceive to have a ‘baby dragon’. “Hurry up and use these few months to prepare yourself from a scientific point of view to have a baby,” reads a notice from the Huantai Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital in Shandong province. Zhai Zhenwu, adviser to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, told the Chinese newspaper ‘Times Finance’ that the ”very clear” astrological preferences mean there is ”hope” for a higher fertility rate. high this year.

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, 2024 will more precisely be the year of the Wooden Dragon. The dragon is the totem of Chinese nationality symbolizing power, nobility and intelligence. Combined with Wood, which contains the meaning of growth, development and prosperity in the Chinese culture of wuxing (five elements), 2024 is expected to bring opportunities, changes and challenges. In 2012, the previous year of the Dragon, there was a real baby boom.

China’s population fell by 2.08 million people in 2023 to 1.40967 billion, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in January. In 2023, 9.02 million children were born, with a birth rate of 6.39 per thousand people.