Can China afford to continue its one-child policy?

Type Journal Article - Analysis from the East-West Center
Title Can China afford to continue its one-child policy?
Volume 77
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2005
Twenty-five years after it was launched, China’s “One Child”
population control policy is credited with cutting population growth to an all
time low and contributing to two decades of spectacular economic development.
But the costs associated with the policy are also apparent and are rising:
a growing proportion of elderly with inadequate government or family
support, a disproportionately high number of male births attributable to sex
selective abortion, increased female infant and child mortality rates, and the
collapse of a credible government birth reporting system. Today, as China
contemplates the future of the policy, many argue that a change that allows
couples to have two children will not lead to uncontrollable population
growth. Instead, it could help meet the fertility desires of most Chinese couples;
avoid a worsening of the demographic and social consequences already
evident; and relieve the Chinese government of the immense financial and
political costs of enforcing an unpopular policy. But changes will need to come
soon if China is to avert even greater negative consequences of the policy

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