Beijing is anticipating a significant increase in births during the lunar year of the Dragon, which is expected to occur post-pandemic recovery after Covid-19. The Chinese authorities and medical personnel are preparing for this surge in births by providing timetables and tips to couples on when to conceive to have a ‘baby dragon.’
The Year of the Dragon is considered the luckiest and most auspicious zodiac sign, and it is believed that children born in this year will have success and luck throughout their lives. This has led many couples to opt for IVF or schedule cesarean sections to ensure their children are born during this year, or ask doctors to delay the birth.
A study conducted in 2019 found that those born during the Year of the Dragon were more likely to score higher on college entrance exams and have a college education due to extra time and money invested in these children. Hospitals across China are offering similar incentives to encourage couples to conceive during this time.
Despite the country’s population shrinking in 2023, it is anticipated that there will be a notable increase in birth rates compared to 2023 in 2024, which will be the year of the Wooden Dragon. This change is expected to bring opportunities, changes, and challenges. Zhai Zhenwu, adviser to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, believes that there is hope for a higher fertility rate due to the ‘very clear’ astrological preferences involving the Dragon. However, it remains difficult to predict by how much this increase will occur.