China’s One-Child Policy

An overview of China’s one-child policy, why it was implemented, and the consequences of the ban.

This paper examines how the one-child policy was implemented in China in 1979 in an attempt to stabilize and/or reduce the population, which was growing at an alarming rate. It looks at how the policy has, at times, been praised as an effective tool and, at times, reviled as a tool for human rights abuses and female infanticide. It discusses how, although the negative effects can be seen to vastly outnumber the value of the good effects, one must consider the value of the negative effects when placed against the importance of reducing/stabilizing the population.
`However, despite all the negative aspects of the Policy, there have been some substantial results in terms of population. The birth rate is down to 1.8 children per woman (in 1990 it stood at 5.01). That is below the birth rate of America (2.1) and the replacement rate (the replacement rate is how many children need to be born per woman to counteract deaths and keep the population stable) which is also 2.1. The population of 65 year olds has also risen. In 1990 in was only 66 million, it was expected in the late 1990’s that they would exceed 90 million by the turn of the century. This is a sign that the population is healthier, as people are more people are living longer. However, although this news is impressive, it was expected by the government that the population would not exceed 1 billion by the year 2000. As the current population is now at 1.26 billion (not including the millions of unregistered people) it is clear that the policy has not worked as well as it was once hoped. Nevertheless there have been some positive changes.`