One-Child Policy Should Not Be Abolished

Topics: Demography, Overpopulation, Population Pages: 11 (3987 words) Published: April 7, 2013
One-child Policy Should Not be Abolished

In the 1970`s, Chinese government implemented one-child policy for Chinese families to control the rapidly growing population (Zhang and Goza 2006). This policy, although passed into law for almost 40 years, has come under much heated debate on whether China should maintain it or abolish it altogether. Along with Chinese population structure changing, two social issues, population aging and imbalance of sex ratio arise and gradually become manifest. One-child policy is said to be responsible for these two issues, and it is demanded that the policy should be abolished. However, by in-depth and careful analysis on relation between one-child policy and two issues, and also considering Chinese temporarily still austere population situation, one-child policy should not be abolished. Chinese one-child policy (also as known as family planning policy) was instituted in 1979 to control the rapid population growth at that time. During the past three decades, one-child policy has not been a fixed policy. The specific items of one-child policy have changed and also vary in different places. Generally speaking, one-child policy encourages later marriage, later pregnancy; it demands that one couple be allowed to have only one child, with several exceptions under some specific circumstances (For example, if both husband and wife are rural registered residents, and their first child is a girl, they are entitled to have a second child.). (先鸡后蛋 2012) Since Chinese total fertility rate has dropped dramatically from about 7.5 in 1963 to 1.7 in 2003 (国家人口发展战略研究课题组 2007), a phenomenon called population aging arises in China. Population aging is the increase of the number and proportion of old people in society. According to international general view and standard, when people who are over 60 years old in a country or district account for 10% of the total population, or people who are over 65 years old account for 7% of the total population, it means that this country or district is an aging society (f03055 2012). According to the statistics given by the Sixth National Census in 2010, in China, residents who are over 60 years old are 178 million, accounting for 13.26% of the overall population. The percentage rose by 2.93% compared to the one calculated in the Fifth National Census in 2000 (国家统计局, 2010年第六次全国人口普查主要数据公报 2011). Should these patterns continue, by 2040 there will be 400 million Chinese people who are at least 60 years old (Zhang and Goza 2006). There is no doubt that China, like many developed countries, has already entered into the stage of aging society. The subsequent impacts generated from population aging, such as possible lack of work force in the future and large amount of pensions paid for old people, become increasingly apparent and grievous. Considered as “the central factor in this changing age structure of the Chinese population” (Banister, Bloom and Rosenberg 2010), one-child policy has been accused and asked to be abolished. However, from a global point of view, population aging is an inevitable trend along with world social and economic development (王, 包 and 郭 1999). The process of the world`s population aging can be a tangible evidence to prove this demographic trend.

The phenomenon of population aging appeared firstly in economically developed areas. From the late 19th century to the first half of the 20th century, European countries like France, Britain and Germany advanced rapidly in the process of industrialization and modernization. Both fertility and mortality rate dropped promptly, and the percentage of population who are over 65 years old gradually arrived at 7%. Afterwards, some countries in North America and Oceania and Japan successively became aging society. Many developing countries and a few underdeveloped countries will also be on the threshold of population aging by the middle of this century (邬 and 孙 2007).
86 countries are now aging society, in...
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