China’s one child policy explained


The one child policy in China has led to various negative results since its enactment. It is a family planning project aimed at reducing the population of China. This however differs in rural areas where one is allowed to have a second child if the first was female or disabled.

In 2007, about 35.9% of China’s population was subject to the one-child restriction. In November 2013, the government announced that it would further relax the policy by allowing families to have two children if one of the parents is an only child.

The policy was introduced in 1979 to alleviate social, economic and environmental problems in China. The policy averted 200 million births between 1979 and 2009. Due to this policy there has been an increase in forced abortions, female infanticide and under-reporting of female births.

It has also been associated with China’s sex imbalance. 76% of China’s population however supports the policy. It is enforced at the provincial level through fines that are imposed based on the income of the family in question alongside other factors. Families violating the policy are required to pay monetary penalties and may possibly be denied bonuses at their workplace.

Children born in overseas countries are not counted as long s they do not apply for Chinese citizenship. Chinese citizens returning from abroad are allowed to have a second child.

After the introduction of the one-child policy, the fertility rate in China fell from 2.63 births per woman in 1980 to 1.61 in 2009. The son preference in China has led to decrease in number of females generally over time.

It may be an efficient method to control population growth but I believe China can do better.