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Baby boom forecast in Shanghai
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Pudong district, which has the city's largest floating population, will experience a baby boom starting next year, officials have said.

The local population research center said last week more than 29,900 babies will be born in the district next year, up 7,000 on this year.

Hospitals for gynaecology and obstetrics in Shanghai are overcrowded with people.

Xu Yuehu, who is in charge of population studies at the Pudong district government, said the population boost is due to the fact that babies born during the last baby boom of the late 1970s and early 80s are now of marriageable and childbearing age.

"Many of the baby boomers are now getting married and will have babies in the next five years," he said.

Tang Tao, also a district official, said in addition, the many construction projects currently under way in the city, such as those for Expo 2010, had attracted a huge migrant community.

"Many of these workers are in their prime and have brought their spouses to settle down in Pudong, which will boost the number of babies born here in the next few years," she said.

According to the forecast, Pudong will get 30,000 new babies in 2009 and 32,000 in 2013.

Between 2009 and 2013, the number of babies born to parents from Pudong's standing population will be about 17,500, the forecast said. But the number from new settlers will increase.

Pudong's health department is looking to open more hospital wards for pregnant women and additional schools and kindergartens are scheduled for development, Xu said.

(China Daily October 24, 2007)

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