Changshan county in eastern China's Zhejiang province is offering rewards to first-time married couples with the woman 25 years old or younger in an effort to boost fertility.
The county will give couples a reward of 1,000 yuan ($137) and exempt them from half the price of assisted reproductive technologies, with a maximum limit of 30,000 yuan per birth. Families who have two or three children will also receive childcare subsidies, free gynecological examinations for women with a third child, preferential policies for the schooling and housing of families with three children, free public transportation and free admission to scenic areas.
The measures are part of a broader effort by the Chinese government to address the country's declining birth rate. China's population fell by 850,000 last year, the first decrease since 1961. The number of marriages in China also fell to 6.83 million last year, the lowest since 1986.
The government has taken a number of steps to encourage childbirth in recent years, including easing restrictions on the number of children couples can have. However, the birth rate has continued to decline.
The measures announced by Changshan county are the latest in a series of efforts by local governments to boost fertility. In recent months, other Chinese cities have also offered rewards to couples who have children, including housing subsidies and cash payments.