The consequences of China’s ‘one-child’ policy
Since introducing the policy more than 30 years ago, China claims it has prevented 400 million births and the worsening of many social, environmental and economic problems. But there has also been many other consequences, including forced abortions, involuntary sterilizations and unbalanced sex ratio. After decades of controversy, Chinese leaders on Friday slightly loosened the policy to allow any parent who is an only child themselves to have a second child. Here is an overview of the one-child policy, the exceptions to the rules and the penalties on multi-child families. Six questions on China’s one-child policy, answered
1962: The Communist Party of China and the State Council issue instructions advocating birth control.
1971:The Chinese government brings controlling population growth into the national economic development plan and requires governments at all levels to enhance the family-planning work.
1975: The government creates a childbearing policy “advocating one couple to have one child at best and two at most.”
1981: The State Family Planning Commission is established.
1993: The natural growth rate of population in China falls to “replacement level.” Two years later, the State Family Planning Commission issues rules prohibit overly strict family-planning measures.
2003: China bans sex-selective abortions. The State Family Planning Commission is renamed the National Population and Family Planning Commission.
2013: The National Population and Family Planning Commission and the Health Ministry were merged into the National Health and Family Planning Commission. In November, the party announces couples can have second child if either parent is an only child.
“The State maintains its current policy for reproduc-
tion, encouraging late marriage and childbearing and advocating one child per couple.”
They are farmers living in
rural areas and the first
child is female.
Both parents are ethnic
If either parent is an only
China’s provinces each charge varying fines for those who break the one-child policy, but the penalty is almost always several times a worker’s average annual income, making it prohibitively expensive to break one-child policy rules.
Between 1950 and 2010, total population grew 150 percent. It is projected to peak in 2030.
For every 100 females born in China, 116 males are born, making it by some measures the highest ratio in the world.
The estimated number of only children above age 10 who have died or will die annually, leaving their parents childless.
SOURCE: Staff reports; United Nations World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision (medium variant); The Beijing Times; Xinhua.net; People’s Daily; Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. GRAPHIC: The Washington Post.