The world population is increasing at a rapid rate and aging fast in developed areas, soon the planet won't be able to satisfy needs of all humans living on it, however China did find a way to slow down the speed of population increase: The One Child Policy. It is a policy that some people protest against and that some people praise, as it was very successful in keeping the number of inhabitants low and stable. "The rationale behind One Child policy stems from the 18th century ideas of Thomas Malthus, whose theory suggests that with a population growth, food sources would be depleted due to the higher demand for food, hence hindering the economic growth and lowering living standards." (Bloom, Canning and Sevilla 2003) Nevertheless, China might have been successful in one aspect of this policy, but according to different studies, China will face its consequences in the future due to the aging population: social and economic.
The age structure has changed enormously since 1949; it was mainly a result of historical events and political decisions. Firstly, Great Famine already caused a decline in the total fertility rate per woman; it dropped from 6 to 3, followed by an increase in mortality rate, with a rate of 10 deaths in thousands to 25. (Cai and Wang 2009) This fact could have a huge impact on the age structure already; even though the population birth rate had eventually recovered in the later years. Secondly, political decisions played an important role in population changes and age structure too. Population structure was influenced mainly thanks to the improved health care; introduction of a simple programme, proposed by the government, which resulted in the decrease in the mortality rate, leading to a greater equality between young and elderly among the population and less deaths of new-borns.
[...] (Bongaarts John 1985) Even though this idea might be already out-dated, it does show the option that Chinese government could have adopted in earlier stage, as it would probably be beneficial to the gender ratio. The problem with their study however is, that it “does not discuss the exact impact of two child policy on age and sex structure.” (Chiu 2004) Interestingly, China's population rate had dropped dramatically even before the child policy' was adopted due to the concept similar to the suggested child policy'. [...]
[...] Therefore, the one child policy might have helped to boost economic growth in these years, but it will be a difficult situation for the state later on and only right choice of laws and policies that government shall proposes might solve this issue that China and many other countries are facing. Bibliography BBC (2007). Grey areas in China's one-child policy. [online]. Last accessed 17 November 2011 at: HYPERLINK "http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia- pacific/7002201.stm" http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia- pacific/7002201.stm BLOOM, David, CANNING, David and SEVILLA, Jaypee (2003). [...]
[...] The age structure varies in different parts of the country, due to the one child policy and due to the migration and economic opportunities for workers. In respect to one child policy, each region had a different one child policy, the most populated areas and cities usually adopted the most rigid laws, where having a second child was strictly prohibited and could be harshly punished. These areas include Beijing, Shanghai and other coastal cities. A large number of couples in rural areas are allowed to have second child, if the first one was a girl as girl might not be fully capable to help parents with agricultural work. [...]
[...] The full effect has probably not shown yet, “however according to the UN Report the consequences of one child policy on the Chinese population will become obvious in 20-50 years.” (United Nations 2002) Lower birth ratio resulted in so called “demographic dividend”, meaning that a population comprises a lower number/ratio of dependent individuals of young age in the population and higher number of people in their productive age. (Ross 2004) Therefore, the funds of the government that had to be used for a preschool education, learning programmes, etc. [...]
[...] The One Child Policy's Socio Demographic Impact: Current Trends and Alternative Policy Projections. Wharton Research Scholars Journal,. FONG, Vanessa (2002). China's One Child Policy: The Empowerment of Urban Daughters. American Anthropologist 1098-1109. GREENHALG, Susan (2005). Missile Science, Population Science: The Origin's of one child policy. China Quaterly,. HAO, Dr Yan (2004). Age Structural Transitions and Major Policy Implications in China. In: CICRED Seminar, Paris Beijing, p.4. HESKETH, Therese (2005). The Effect of China's One Child Policy After 25 Years. The New England Journal of Medicine, 1172-1176. [...]
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