A Chinese village is offering incentives to matchmakers to help bachelors tie the knot.

The Xiangjiazhuang village committee will give a reward of 600 to 1,000 yuan (US $84 to US $140) to matchmakers who successfully facilitate a marriage, state media outlet The South China Morning Post said.

According to the outlet, the program will start on Jan 1 next year and continue for three years.

The village committee said that the financial incentive came due to the increasing number of unmarried young men in the village, the committee said.

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The money will come from the village’s collective funds, the outlet said.

The local outlet said that the concern came after the severely declining birthrate in the Xiangjiazhuang village community.

The community is compiled of approximately 270 households and there are more than 40 unmarried young men between the ages of 25 and 40 within the village.

Officials said there were just 7 to 8 births in the village this year, compared to around 16 to 17 annually in previous years.

A newly-wed couple pose for a photo

The Xiangjiazhuang village’s decision comes as political advisors in China work to come up with creative ways to boost the birth rate.

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The proposals to boost the birth rate range from subsidies for families raising their first child, rather than just the second and third, to expanding free public education and improving access to fertility treatments.

A couple poses for a wedding photographer

China dug itself into a demographic hole largely through its one-child policy imposed between 1980 and 2015. Authorities raised the limit to three in 2021, but even during the stay at home COVID times couples have been reluctant to have babies.

Young people cite high childcare and education costs, low incomes, a feeble social safety net and gender inequalities, as discouraging factors.

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