Why Is China Relaxing its One Child Policy?

Published on Author marybeth

The One Child policy in China was established in 1979 by the Communist Party as a means of controlling China’s ever growing population in order to provide relief to social, economic, and environmental issues that arose due to the magnitude of their population. The goal of this family planning practice was to stop the population from growing at such a high rate by limiting the reproductive freedom of adults. Formerly, 39.5% of the country’s population was subject to this policy, however, changes have reduced that number by 10 to 12 million. Now, according to the revised law, couples who each have no siblings and would have previously been subject to the one child policy, are now allowed to have two children. To many citizens, this revision is warranted and brought about due to the fact that they feel this level of social control is archaic and intrusive. Others, however, claim that the necessity of this revision is largely due to demographics. Currently, fertility rates in large Chinese cities are below 1.0, which are some of the lowest worldwide. This has effects on the size of the labor force, and the ratio of taxpayers to pensioners. The worry today is not that there is an ever-growing population; the fear is that the older generations of the population will outnumber the younger generation, which will lead to a society that is unable to sustain itself.

Further reading: The Economist