How The One Child Policy Helped Chinese Economy

October 6th, 2010 Posted in Canada|Global Economy

How The One Child Policy Helped Chinese Economy China’s One Child Policy

China is the most populous country on Earth, with 1.3 billion people, or 20 per cent of the world’s population. As amazing as it is to think, that population would have been even higher if not for the one-child policy, which was implemented in 1978 by the Chinese government. This policy, while some criticize it, helped China become the world power that many recognize it as now.

The one-child policy restricts the number of children that can be born to married urban couples to just one, while there are exceptions for parents without siblings, official minorities and rural couples.

The policy was created by China as a way of alleviating the social, economic and environmental problems that were beginning to affect China. While the policy has been controversial around the world, roughly 75 percent of Chinese people agree with the policy. The policy helped the fertility rate in China fall from five births per woman in 1970 to just 1.8 births per woman in 2008. It is estimated that about 300 to 400 million births have been prevented through the one-child policy, helping to keep the resources of China from being depleted even more. Overwhelmed social services, slums and overpopulation have all been reduced thanks to the policy.

The one-child policy has helped to fuel the economic change seen in China over the past few decades in large part because there is not as much competition among citizens, allowing for more wealth to be spread around to everyone. Most of the Chinese population is now 60 years of age and over, meaning a big drop in the population will come as those people begin to die.

One benefit from this policy is that individual savings rates have increased in the past 30 years. This is due to the fact that a Chinese household has more resources because they are not being spent on multiple children in terms of time and money. As well, with only one child parents are no longer just relying on children to support them so the parents are saving more for their old age.

As well, the one-child policy has reduced the demand on natural resources, while maintained a steady labour rate, reduced unemployment, and reduced exploitation of workers.

While many look at the economic policies of China as a reason for the change in the country, one cannot dismiss the impact the one-child policy has had in helping to make the country an economic power. The decision in 1978 to limit the population has had far reaching impacts in China and across the planet. With 400 million less people being born in the past 30 years, there has been less drain on resources and an easier time for the world to adapt to environmental changes. Not to mention the fact that the economy of China has become supercharged in part because of the policy, making China one of the leading nations on the planet in the 21st century.

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  1. One Response to “How The One Child Policy Helped Chinese Economy”

  2. By Robert on Oct 8, 2010

    Seriously? It helped their economy? I hope that will console them, when they realise the myriad social ills the one-child policy has caused. The economy can’t ALWAYS be first priority.

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