China - one child policy

China case study

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  • Created by: Kelleigh
  • Created on: 04-06-12 15:21

China - one child policy - problems


  • China has over one billion people which is the biggest in the world.
  • In 1979 the population was 1 billion, it was estimated that it could reach 1.8 billion by 2025.

- This caused problems because in china there are very few areas to grow crops (mountain ranges) therefore this could have caused starvation and a general lack of resources (food, services, housing, etc).

  • In rural China traditionally couples have large numebrs of children to help live subsistence lifestyles and to look after them when they become dependent.
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China - one child policy - solutions


  • In 1974 the chinese government introduced the 'later, longer, fewer' scheme. This meant that you got married later, had a longer gap between children and consequently had fewer children.

- This policy reduced the births but not as much as the government wanted.

  • In 1979 the government introduced the one child policy. it hoped to get the population to 1.2 billion by 2025 (instead of 1.8 billion).

- This policy had many rules

1. Each couple must not marry until their late 20's

2. they must only have 1 successful pregnancy

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China - one child policy - benefits and impliments


  • Each couple would recieve a 5-10% salary increase
  • They would have priority on housing, pensions and family benefits like free education and healthcare.

Impliments - Granny police worked in the community to make sure no-one was disobeying the rules

  • Each couple would have a 10% pay cut
  • Large fines
  • Have to pay for education for both children
  • Forced sterilisation and abortions
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China - one child policy - exceptions and new exce


  • If a 2nd child was born abroad they wouldn't be penalised but are not allowed to become chinese citizens
  • If you have one child that has disabilities then you could have a 2nd child.
  • If you lived in a rural area you would be allowed to have a 2nd child to help with working on the land and to balance out the dependence ratio.

Recently the rules have been relaxed

  • If both of the parents are only children then a couple can have two children

NOTE: the policy is unlikely to be further relaxed as in 2008 there were 1 million more births than deaths every 5 weeks.

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China - one child policy - problems


  • Female infanticide - traditionally boys were more highly valued than girls. Therefore couples aborted or abandoned female babies so they could try again for a boy.
  • There is an uneven gender balance 100:118.
  • Girls traditionally looked after the elderly. So fewer girls plus more girls going to work means the elderly are sometimes neglected.
  • Local officals have power over other people's lives.
  • Little Emperor's syndrome - spolit over indulged children.
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China - one child policy - How successful?


  • It has prevented up to 400 million births
  • Fertility rate has fallen from 5.7 in 1970 to around 1.8
  • Free education/health care for your child
  • Better pay
  • Longer maternity leave


  • Women forced to have abortions
  • little emperors syndrome
  • Sons favoured so increase in female infanticide & orhans (over 15 million, mainly girls) which led to gender imbalance.
  • Government power over people's private lives
  • If you have a second child you have to pay back all the benefits for the first - often a year's salary.
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China - one child policy - Is it sustainable?

Is it sustainable?

This policy was sustainable because it has decreased the rate of the population growth. However it is questionable whether it is ethical because it has caused female infanticide and gender imbalance.

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Please take note that the boy:girl ratio is roughly 12:10 not 18:1 where did that come from??? Otherwise very helpful thanks :)

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