China’s One Child Policy

The People’s Republic of China implemented the one child policy to control the booming population of China. This meant that all families could only have one child unless they lived rurally, where they could have a second child if there first child was a girl or disabled (men were needed for labour).

It was introduced in 1979 to fix the societal problems arising from the booming population and has been estimated to have stopped approximately 200 million births in the last 35 years. However, there have been issues of forced abortions, female infanticide and something known as ‘Little Emperor Syndrome’ (where the only child gets spoilt!).


Today, China has just implemented a resolution which eases the one child policy. The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress has now allowed couples to have a second child if both parents are an only child, but it needs legislative approval before gaining effect.

Experts argue the lack of youth in China is leading to a reduced number of people who are working and increased care for the elderly (China is expected to have 25% of its population over the age of 65 by 2050). There is also a massive gender imbalance in the country.

The new resolution hopes to deal with the new issues facing society as a result of the one child policy, whilst maintaining the fairly low birth rate in the country.

What do you think about China’s planned change to the One Child Policy?

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Digestible Politics