Will an end to the Chinese ‘one child’ policy add to world population?
by Alan Harten
March 4, 2008
A senior Chinese government official has made remarks indicating that China may soon abandon its controversial ‘one child’ policy. However, will the news have a drastic effect on predictions for the end of global population growth?
There are 1.3 billion Chinese on the planet, which is 20% of the total world population. Therefore, the country can have a huge effect on global population. All current world population models are based on the concept that this massive population has one child per couple.
The Chinese government imposed a complicated framework of sanctions and fines to keep its population growth in check. Chinese surveys indicate that 70% of Chinese couples under 30 do not want out more than two children. With only a tiny percentage wanting three or more.
The Chinese government, in claims disputed by many demographers, says that the average Chinese woman now has 1.8 children. Assuming this is true; it actually indicates that the one child policy is ineffective.
In other Chinese controlled states such as Hong Kong and Macau the average, which the government not stipulate, paradoxically is actually much lower, at an average of one child per family.
The number of children Chinese families were having was falling a long time before the policy was introduced back in 1979. During the 1950s, the average Chinese woman gave birth to more than 6 children, by the mid-70s the average was less than three.
There can be no disagreement that the one child policy has had a very significant impact on the nation’s population. It is however, considered that with growing economic confidence and individual wealth. That the population would not have been growing at its previous levels even without the introduction of the one child policy
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