In the 1950's, the people of China were encouraged to have large families so the country could industrialise.
In the 1960's, it became apparent that there had been large increase in population and this was getting out of control.
In the 1970's, family planning programmes had been introduced promoting later marriages, fewer children and having a wider gap between births. The average family now had 3 children.
In 1979, the One Child Policy was brought into action. The aim was to reduce the large growth rate and each family was allowed to have just one child.
Incentives to have one child included:
- a free education for the child
- a priority over choosing a house
- other family benefits
If a second child was born, all the benefits would be taken away and in some cases the family was fined.
The minimum age for marriage became 22 for men and 20 for women.
Permission was needed to marry and have a child.
Problems with the One Child Policy occurred, these included:
- more than one child was needed to help on farms in rural areas
- a generation of 'Little Emperors' emerged, meaning there were many spoilt only children
- there were little young people to look after the elderly
- the was a gender imbalance because there was a large amount of female infanticides
- there was also a large amount of abortions if a second child had been conceived
In the 1990's, the policies became more relaxed for some people. Rural areas could now have 2 children if they were spread over a 3 year period. This would help out farmers as they will have more helping hands.
The One Child Policy still continues to this day. It has had a great effect on the fertility rate and the population growth of the country. In 1979 the fertility rate was 2.74 and has now reduced to 1.77, concluding that the population policy has helped.
I think that the One Child Policy is a very forceful way of reducing the fertility rate and is unfair on families that would want more children. However, it has evidently been a success and is better that is has become less strict on some of the rules.