China's population was approaching 1 billion when it established its one-child-per-family policy in the late 1970s. But in the fall of 2015, China announced that the policy would be dropped because of unintended consequences, including a skewing of the population toward males and a disproportionate representation of elderly people.
By allowing couples to have two children, China is hoping to bring balance back to the country's demographics. The current population is about 1.3 billion. Only time will tell how the lifting of the rule will affect the numbers.
These photos from Reuters show how crowded the country has already become.
Jack Sommer wrote an earlier version of this story.
Examinees walk into the entrance of a classroom building to take part in a three-day entrance exam for postgraduate studies in Hefei, Anhui province. A record 1.8 million people applied to attend this exam in 2013.
Students take an exam at a high school's open-air playground in Yichuan, Shaanxi province. More than 1,700 freshmen students took part in the exam in 2015, which the school moved outside because of insufficient indoor space.
Laundry hangs outside student housing at a university in Wuhan, Hubei province.
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