Since authorities loosened family planning policies, people's beliefs regarding what year is fortunate and what year isn't seem to play a more obvious role in their choice of when to have babies.
For people old enough to bear children and are actually planning on doing so, the Year of the Pig might encourage them to take that step, but it's unlikely it'll reverse the trend of declining birth rates. China's birth rate has been on a downward trend since the last peak in 1987, and is expected to drop even lower.
The last time the public expected a baby boom was in 2012, the Year of the Dragon, an animal that is seen as the epitome of might and intelligence. Babies born in the Year of the Dragon are said to be destined for success and wealth. At the time, Xinhua reported that China was anticipating a five-percent increase in the number of babies, but expectations did not match reality as the year saw a 1.9-percent increase.
China formally scrapped its one-child policy in 2016, and has since encouraged couples to have a second child – but the number of births did not surge as some had expected.
Indeed, many factors influence a country's birth rates, including the number of women in fertility age, their educational level, as well as the overall social and economic development.
Family planning policies might have had a hand in the declining fertility rates, but the main factor is China's social and economic development, such as the general improvement in women's educational levels, according to Zhang Chewei, the director of the Institute of Population and Labor Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and vice-president of China Population Association.
Times are changing in China, and fast – and so are people's notions of family and their views regarding childbearing.
Declining fertility rates is a global trend with women in most parts of the world marrying at an older age and having fewer children, according to the World Women 2015, a report published by the UN every five years.