Low fertility in urban China

Type Conference Paper - IUSSP Low Fertility Working Group Seminar on International Perspectives on Low Fertility: Trends, Theories and Policies
Title Low fertility in urban China
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2001
URL https://digitalcollections.anu.edu.au/bitstream/1885/41475/3/PaperZhao.pdf
According to the Population Reference Bureau, the total fertility rate (TFR) fell to 2.9
children per woman in the world in the year 2000, with 1.5 for developed countries and
3.7 for developing countries. Countries like Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Bulgaria,
Estonia, Latvia, Russia, Slovenia, and Georgia recorded an exceptionally low fertility,
where the TFR was less than 1.3 (The Population Reference Bureau, 2000).
Below replacement fertility has been observed in some populations for many years.
This trend, as elementary demography suggests, not only helps to bring about rapid
population ageing, but also causes sooner or later a decline in total population or even the
extinction of a country. Partly for this reason, the issue of low fertility has recently
attracted increasing attention in many parts of the world (Hugo 2000; Lesthaeghe and
Willems 1999; Cho 1994).
The impact of low fertility by no means concerns only the developed or western
world, because below replacement fertility has also been experienced in a number of
developing countries or in some of their sub-populations. In South Korea, China, and
Thailand, for example, the estimated TFR was all below 2 in the year 2000 (The
Population Reference Bureau, 2000). Low fertility of the same kind was also recorded in
certain regions of some countries where fertility level in general remained relatively
The consequence of a rapid fertility reduction from the pre-transitional high to the
below-replacement low level will soon affect many developing countries.

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