In the year of the Dragon, Chinese authorities and medical personnel are anticipating a surge in births. This increase is expected due to post-pandemic recovery after Covid-19, as well as policies implemented by Beijing to support fertility and procreation. Many couples have also bet on having ‘dragon children,’ who they believe will be lucky and successful throughout their lives.
The Dragon is considered the luckiest and most auspicious zodiac sign, and there are many myths surrounding it. Many couples opt for IVF or schedule cesarean sections to ensure their children are born in the year of the Dragon, or ask doctors to delay the birth. A study from 2019 showed 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 them.
Hospitals across China are providing timetables and tips to educate couples on when to conceive to have a ‘baby dragon.’ According to the Chinese lunar calendar, 2024 will be the year of the Wooden Dragon, which is expected to bring opportunities, changes, and challenges. In 2012, the previous year of the Dragon saw a significant baby boom despite China’s population shrinking in 2023.
Zhai Zhenwu believes there is hope for a higher fertility rate due to ‘very clear’ astrological preferences involving the Dragon. It is anticipated that in 2024 there will be an increase in birth rates compared to 2023, although it is difficult to predict by how much.