China’s Xian to give lottery tickets to newlyweds in bid to spur births

Thursday, Feb 29, 2024

HONG KONG: Authorities in China’s city of Xian will spend 700,000 yuan ($97,000) on lottery tickets to give as prizes to newlyweds who present a marriage certificate, in an effort to encourage weddings at a time of fewer births.

China’s population fell for a second consecutive year in 2023, with new births dropping to about half those in 2016, while marriages hit a record low in 2022. With marriage rates closely tied to birth rates as unmarried mothers are often denied child-raising benefits, Xian promised a lottery ticket to any couple presenting a marriage certificate from March 1, as “a double surprise”.

“This is not only the beginning of a happy life after receiving the marriage certificate but also more likely to get a small gift,” the city’s civil affairs bureau said this week on its official Wechat account. The campaign will run until November 30, it added.