No.11 China’s One Child Policy

25 Apr

InChina, the one child policy was introduced to stabilize the country’s population. It officially restricts the number of children married urban couples can have to one, although it allows exemptions for several cases, including rural couples, ethnic minorities, and parents without any siblings themselves. More than twenty years after it introduced its one-child policy,Chinais keeping its promise, allowing only-children who marry each other to have a second child.


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Maybe it is an unfathomed policy for western people, but it really good effect on China’s population and economy. After the introduction of the one-child policy, the fertility rate in China fell from over three births per woman in 1980 (already a sharp reduction from more than five births per woman in the early 1970s) to approximately 1.8 births in 2008.

 The Chinese government estimates that it had three to four hundred million fewer people in 2008 with the one-child policy, than it would have had otherwise. Chinese authorities thus consider the policy as a great success in helping to implementChina’s current economic growth. The reduction in the fertility rate and thus population growth has reduced the severity of problems that come with overpopulation, like epidemics, slums, overwhelmed social services (such as health, education, law enforcement), and strain on the ecosystem from abuse of fertile land and production of high volumes of waste. Even with the one-child policy in place,Chinastill has one million more births than deaths every five weeks.


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It is fact that The One Child Policy got non-population-related benefits as well:

Because of the decrease of pregnancy, it helps provide a better health service for women and a reduction in the risks of death and injury associated with pregnancy. In addition, people can get free condoms or contraception at family planning offices and pregnant women can have free pre-natal classes as well. The individual savings rate has increased since the one-child policy was introduced. This has been partially attributed to the policy in two respects. First, the average Chinese household expends fewer resources, both in terms of time and money, on children, which gives many Chinese more money with which to invest. Second, since young Chinese can no longer rely on children to care for them in their old age, there is an impetus to save money for the future.

The original intent of the one-child policy was economic, to reduce the demand of natural resources, maintaining a steady labor rate, reducing unemployment caused from surplus labor, and reducing the rate of exploitation. Therefore, the policy be introduced quickly and covered wholeChina.


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