China’s Population Policy at the Crossroads: Social Impacts and Prospects

China’s Population Policy at the Crossroads: Social Impacts and Prospects Abstract China’s total fertility rate fell below replacement level in the 1990s. From the 1970s the fertility rate declined dramatically, mainly as a consequence of the national population policy whose aim has been to limit birth numbers, control population growth and boost economic growth. Having achieved such a low fertility rate, how will China’s population policy evolve in the future? This paper first reviews the history of China’s population policy since 1970 in three stages: 1970–1979; 1980–1999; and after 2000. We explore the impacts of China’s population policy, including relief of pressure on China’s environment and resources, fertility decline, the unexpectedly high male-biased sex ratio at birth (SRB), the coming shortage of labour force, and the rapid aging of the population, and extinction of racial and cultural diversity. We also investigate ethical issues raised by the implementation of the policy and its results. Finally we introduce the controversy over potential adjustment of the policy, acknowledging the problems faced by western countries with low fertility and the counter-measures they have taken. We offer some suggestions that might be appropriate in the Chinese context. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Journal of Social Science Brill

China’s Population Policy at the Crossroads: Social Impacts and Prospects

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1568-4849
eISSN
1568-5314
DOI
10.1163/15685314-12341298
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract China’s total fertility rate fell below replacement level in the 1990s. From the 1970s the fertility rate declined dramatically, mainly as a consequence of the national population policy whose aim has been to limit birth numbers, control population growth and boost economic growth. Having achieved such a low fertility rate, how will China’s population policy evolve in the future? This paper first reviews the history of China’s population policy since 1970 in three stages: 1970–1979; 1980–1999; and after 2000. We explore the impacts of China’s population policy, including relief of pressure on China’s environment and resources, fertility decline, the unexpectedly high male-biased sex ratio at birth (SRB), the coming shortage of labour force, and the rapid aging of the population, and extinction of racial and cultural diversity. We also investigate ethical issues raised by the implementation of the policy and its results. Finally we introduce the controversy over potential adjustment of the policy, acknowledging the problems faced by western countries with low fertility and the counter-measures they have taken. We offer some suggestions that might be appropriate in the Chinese context.

Journal

Asian Journal of Social ScienceBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2013

Keywords: population policy; fertility; sex ratio at birth (SRB); aging; ethical issue

References

  • The cost of low fertility Europe
    Bloom D.E. Canning D. Fink G. Finlay J.E.
  • On the quantum and tempo of fertility
    Bongaarts J. Feene G.

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