China's One Child Policy

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Why was the policy needed?

The policy was introduced in 1979 however in 1970, China's fertility rate was 5.75

Firstly, the obvious reason was that China had too many people relying on the natural resources such as water and food, thus these resources were running out rapidly.

The surge in multiplication of the population was expected tho as they had just come out of a huge famine where over 20 million chinese citizen died. As a result of this, the Chinese went on to mulitply exponentially causing a huge increase in it's fertility rate.

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Positive Effects of the OCP


  • Population in 2007 was 1.3 bil, 25% lower than expected
  • Fertility rates fallen: 5.75 (1970) -> 1.70 (2000)
  • Population growth reduced by 300 million
  • Decreased pop. densities
  • Reduces unemployment
  • Increase food supply


  • Improved the overall economic stability, China wouldn't be so big today without it


  • Decrease in pop. density means more space
  • Less people = Less strain on the resources 
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Negative Effects of the OCP


  • Barebranchers - Men out numbering women so more crimes like ****
  • Little emporers(esses) - A generation of spoilt single children
  • Girls:Boys 100:110 (1982) 100:120 (1990)
  • Many female abortions as men were prefered
  • Dramatic rise in forced prostitution - 42,000 women & kids saved in 2001/2
  • 4-2-1. One adult is left to look after 2 parents and 4 grandparents


  • Men spending up to $2400 on importing a wife from countries like Burma
  • Traditional reliance on children will have to be replaced by socail health care & facilities 
  • Number of people with pension decreasing, so children seen as an 'investment'
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Can the policy be sustainable?


  • Huge gender imbalance with a national average of 117:100 (m:f)
  • Many females feel 'unwanted', forcing China to be the only nation where the female suicide rate is higher than the males - On average 500 women kill themselves each DAY!!
  • 4-2-1 Phenomenon meaning that the government will have to spend more money on health and social care to cope with the ageing population
  • A very high elderly depency ratio will occur as there are less youthful dependents yet more elderly dependent


  • The 'Care for Girls' program introduced in 2004 to offer finanical incentives to those who have a one child family with a female. Went out to reduce abortions and 'Care for Girls'
  • If you lived in the countryside and had a girl, you were allowed another child
  • Decreased population densities
  • Less strain on the resources and infrastructure 
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