China Case Study

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  • Created by: Lucy
  • Created on: 22-04-13 12:56

China's One Child Policy 1979 - Background

-China's anit-natalist population policy was a response to perceived over population in the 1970’s.

 -Between 1950 and 1980 China’s population increased from 560 to 985 million.

 -Such growth threatened shortage of food, fresh water, fossil fuels and other natural resources.

 -As a communist country, China gives priority to state of interests over the rights and freedom of individuals, therefore the government was able to impose an authorisation policy that would be impossible in democratic societies.

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China's One Child Policy 1979 - The Policy

-Introduced in 1979

-Women who opted to have more than one child incurred economic penalties.

-Legal age for marriage increase to 22 for men and 20 for women.

 -The policy was applied with greater flexibility in rural than urban areas.

-Even in urban areas recently there has been some policy relaxation, for example, if a couple were both themselves only children they can try for a second child 4 years after the first birth.

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China's One Child Policy 1979 - Impacts

-The policy had most success in towns and cities, where it was easy to enforce and small families were acceptable.

-Rural areas the policy met more resistance: it was difficult to both enforce it and explain to poorly educated farmers.

-China’s population increased by 73% between 1950 and 1979. However with the policy from 1979 to 2008 there was a 37% decrease.

-Today China is in stage 3/4 of the DTM and one-third of all Chinese families are single child families. It is claimed that the policy has been responsible for 400 million fewer births.

-The policy has caused the population of young people to fall rapidly, threatening labour shortages in cities.

-Improvements in health care and living standards have caused an increase in proportion of elderly people. By 2030 it is estimated that 25% of China’s population will be 60 and over, with little state provision for pensions the burden of looking after old people will fall on today’s single child.

-The prevalence of male children has led to female infanticide and selective abortion of girls. Resulting in a gender imbalance which will eventually leave a shortage of marriageable women, threatening the tradition of universal marriage. 


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