Causes of the One Child Policy
- Agricultural lifestyle means children needed to work the land.
- 1964-1974 saw a population explosion with the addition of 200 million people.
- Cultural, boys are more favourable, so parents have more children to ensure boys.
- There was limited contraception up until the early 1960s.
- Mao Zedong said that contraception was "bloodless genocide"
- Fertility rate peaked in the 1970s at 5.8.
- High Infant Mortality.
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Why the One Child Policy?
- High population means a pressure on services such as health and education.
- 25% of the world population in China, on 7% of world's arable land.
- The average area of land per person is 50% less than the world average.
- Pressures on food supplies.
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- The annual population rate has slowed and is now at 0.6%.
- The use of contraception such as condoms has increased.
- An estimated 300-400 million births have been prevented.
- The current fertility rate is around 1.7, below replacement level.
- Most Chinese people feel that it has been good for their country.
- Chinese officials say that it has boosted prosperity.
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- Some consider that reproduction is a basic human right.
- The one child policy has had most success in urban areas.
- Due to a large population base of around 1.3 billion, the population is still growing at about 10 million per year.
- China is developing an ageing population.
- By 2050 there will only be 2 workers for every retiree.
- Sex-selective abortions (97% female) reflect a cultural perception of the need for a son.
- 'Little emperor' syndrome, parents spoil one child.
- Millions of men will struggle to find sexual partners in adulthood.
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- Arable land is being lost to increased urbanisation.
- Western- style reluctance to have more than one child.
- If the policy were lifted overnight there could be a population explosion back lash.
- Data suggests that only 5.8% of Chinese women now want more than two children.
- Reports in south western China that officials were forcing women to have abortions and levying steep fines on families violating the law.
- Rural areas still have a desire for boys however in modern cities this idea has all but disapeared.
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