CAMBRIDGE AS GEOGRAPHY REVISION: POPULATION - 4.4 THE MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL INCREASE
Population policy is when a government has a stated aim on an aspect
of its population and it undertakes measures to achieve that aim.
Pro-natalist policy is a population policy that aims to encourage more
births through the use of incentives.
Anti-natalist policy is a population policy designed to limit fertility
through the use of both incentives and deterrents.
Family planning programme is a programme to regulate the number
and spacing of children in a family through the practice of
contraception or other methods of birth control.
Sterilisation is preventing pregnancy by cutting or blocking the tubes
from a woman’s ovaries or cutting the tubes that carry sperm in a man.
Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion
from the uterus of a foetus or embryo, resulting in or caused by its
Centrally planned economy is an economic system in which the state
or workers’ councils manage all aspects of the economy.
Civil liberties are the rights and freedoms that protect an individual
from the state. Civil liberties set limits on a government so that its
members cannot abuse their power and interfere unduly with the lives
of private citizens.
Selective abortion is abortion performed because of the gender of the
foetus or when a genetic test is performed that detects an undesirable
Social norms are the rules for how people should act in a given group
or society. These rules are often different for men and women. Any
behaviour that is outside these norms is considered abnormal.
Natural increase is the difference between the number of births and
the number of deaths in a country or region.
Population policy encompasses all of the measures explicitly or
implicitly taken by a government aimed at influencing population size,
growth, distribution or composition.
Population policies may be pro-natalist or anti-natalist in character.
In 1952 India became the first developing country to introduce a policy
designed to reduce fertility.
An increasing number of countries now see their fertility as too low.
China has been operating the world’s strictest policy to control natural
increase since 1979.
Population policies in China can be traced back to the late 1940s. The
direction of population policy changed a number of times before the
one-child policy was introduced.
Chinese demographers say that the one-child policy has been
successful in preventing at least 300 million births, and has played a
significant role in the country’s economic growth.
Ethnic minorities were exempt from parts of the policy, which applied
mainly to the Han ethnic majority that makes up more than 90 per cent
of the total population.
The one-child policy has been most effective in urban areas where the
traditional bias of couples wanting a son has been significantly eroded.
The policy has had a considerable impact on the sex ratio, which at
birth in China is currently 119 boys to 100 girls.
Demographic ageing has been another major consequence of
population control as the median age of the population steadily rises.
Another consequence of the one-child rule has been the creation of a
generation of so-called ‘little emperors’.
An increasing number of affluent parents are either prepared to pay
the fines for having a second child outright or travel to Hong Kong
where no permit for a second child is needed.
Some organisations, including the UN Fund for Population Activities,
have praised China’s policy on birth control. Many others see it as a
fundamental violation of civil liberties.
1. Have any attempts been made to manage natural increase in the
country in which you live? If so, describe these measures and assess
2. Check the internet to see the latest discussions on natural increase in
www.chinadaily.org – China Daily