Population Control and Consequences in China

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Population Control and Consequences in China
1. Problems associated with overpopulation
2. Population policy
o China's population control policy
o Other population control methods
3. Problems associated with population policies
4. Social and political consequences
5. Social and economic benefits
6. Future outcomes
Problems associated with overpopulation. China has the highest population in the

world, encompassing 1.2 billion or twenty one percent of the world's population (P.R.B.

7). China faces serious social and economic problems associated with overpopulation in

the years to come. Overly populated regions lead to degradation of land and resources,

pollution, and detrimental living conditions. The Chinese government has tried to find a

solution to the problem of increasing population with moderate success.

China's population control policy. The Chinese government has used several methods

to control population growth. In 1979, China started the "one child per family policy"

(Juali Li 563). This policy stated that citizens must obtain a birth certificate before the

birth of their children. The citizens would be offered special benefits if they agreed to

have only one child. Citizens who did have more than one child would either be taxed an

amount up to fifty percent of their income, or punished by loss of employment or other

benefits (Hilali 10). Furthermore, unplanned pregnancies or pregnancies without the

proper authorization would need to be terminated (Hilali 9). In 1980, the birth-quota

system was established to monitor population growth(Jiali Li 563). Under this system, the

government set target goals for each region. Local officials were mainly held responsible

for making sure that population growth totals did not exceed target goals. If target goals

were not met, the local officials were punished by law or by loss of privileges.

Other population control methods. Other methods that have been used by the Chinese

government to restrict rising population totals include birth control programs and

economic changes. In the early '80's, sterilization target goals were set and made

mandatory for people who had two children (Hilali 19). At its peak in 1983, tubal

ligations, vasectomies, and abortions amounted to thirty-five percent of the total birth

control methods (Hilali 20). In addition, the economy changed from primarily one of

agriculture to industry (Hilali 22). The government used this to its advantage; spreading

the view that economic growth would hinder population growth (Hilali 22).

Problems associated with population policies. There have been many problems

associated with the policies and programs established by Chinese officials. First of all,

these programs have been difficult to implement and have had little success. Local

officials in charge of growth totals, have falsified reports in order to avoid punishment

(Zeng Yi 29). Consequently, this has led to underreporting of the number of births by as

much as twenty-seven percent in 1992 (Zeng Yi 32). Moreover, compliance with the

birth-quota system has been low. Of the 14,808 infants born between 1980-1988, only

about half have been with a legal birth permit(Jiali Li 567). Of those born with a permit,

eighty-eight percent were first children born into families (Jiali Li 567). Furthermore, out

of the second children born, only eleven percent were authorized (Jiali Li 568). Lastly,

people of rural communities, who depend on having larger families to help with the

farms, have succeeded in finding ways around the birth-quota system (Hilali 13).

Social and political consequences. The Chinese government has also had to deal with political and social upheaval as a result of its strict policies. The United States, as well as

many other countries, have publicly expressed their...
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