It began around April 2011, those subtle winks and prods between couples, before slipping out early from the KTV bar with plenty of new accessories from the 7-11 counter. Lights were out across China as hopeful parents pwapped like crazy to hit the 12 month window of a dragon kid. The 17 million new babies picked to be born in the Year of the Dragon are said to possess passion, courage, luck and strength like no other, so they’re a pretty good bet for your shot at securing retirement funding. Or are they?
China’s numbers people forecast there’d be an extra 5% babies born in the Year of the Dragon than the other zodiac years. That’s an extra 850,000 sprogs. Almost an extra 2 kids born every minute – all wanting to get into the best schools, land the best jobs and be the next Yao Ming. Competition is healthy to be your best, but China is already hyper-competitive for youngsters and their Tiger Moms. Having churned out 39 million university graduates in the past decade, the only way Chinese kids differentiate themselves is often the school they went to. So even if they’re exceptional, if the chances of getting into that good school diminished, so do their chances of success.
Now the Year of the Snake on the other hand, is a plum year to pop out. I’d pick there’ll be a lower birth-rate in China than even normal years, given those thinking about kids about now would have done it in the Dragon. In addition, the mini baby-boom 12-months earlier drove development of extra schools and facilities, which will be at under-capacity when Snake-kids roll around. Basic supply & demand economics means the year ahead is a good time to begin your life in China. But don’t just base your procreation plans on theory, look at who’s been born in the year of Snake – Mao Zedong and Xi Jinping to name a couple … do you need more proof than that?
So to those born between February 10, 2013 and January 30, 2014 don’t feel inferior to your big-snouted, winged brothers, it is you who is the lucky one!