Previous Governments had been encouraging couples to have large families to increase the country ’s workforce.
By the 1970 ’s China’s population was growing very quickly – in 1950 it was 1.9%
The Government soon realised if this continued population growth would be unsustainable
In 1979, the Chinese government introduced the 'One Child Policy', limiting couples to one child.
This form of 'population control' has caused controversy ever since.
Poorer families in the
countryside have strongly
resisted the 'One Child
Policy'. They need children to work the land, and some have had more children despite the risk of heavy fines.
China ’s One Child Policy What is it? But without registration as a citizen, the newborn child is doomed to a hidden life, with no right to education or a decent job.
In December 2001, the government took steps to soften the policy. Families in rural areas are now officially allowed two children if their first-born child is a girl. Meanwhile, ethnic minorities are allowed two or three children because they represent only a fraction of China's population and often live in hostile environments.
Today, a new fund to help children is paid for by the fines from couples that break the rules. The Chinese government has also introduced measures that will improve the position of women by giving them more opportunities in education and jobs.
China's population is now 1.3 billion. The Chinese government argues that without the 'One Child Policy', there could have been 320 million more mouths to feed. But education and health care has also played a part in reducing China's birth rate.
China ’s One Child Policy Long term Implications
The falling birth rate is leading to the population structure becoming unbalanced between young and old and male and female
What do you think might happen to the population structure in the future?
China ’s One Child Policy What does the future hold?