Notes on China's One Child Policy

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China’s One Child Policy

The Population Problem

  • Since 1949, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has ruled China.
  • Between the 1960s-1970s the Chinese leader Mao Zedong encouraged people to have large families. He believed:
  • More people meant a stronger China
  • In the event of a war with the USA, more people would ensure victory
  • However, by the early 1970s it was clear there was not enough food, water jobs or services to cope with rapidly growing population.
  • Drastic solution to expanding problem needed
  • 1980 – The first one-child policy was introduced.
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Pre-China One Child Policy (1970s)

  • China realises high population growth is unsustainable
  • “Later, Longer, Fewer” policy
  • Encouraged parents to delay their first child
  • Longer interval between births
  • Encourage parents to have fewer children in general.

China Introduces One Child Policy (1978-1983)

  • ‘One family, one child’ policy
  • Limits family to one child
  • This is due to the government seeing rapid population growth as a barrier to China’s development. China wanted to focus on growth in:
  • Industry
  • Agriculture
  • Defence
  • Science
  • Technology

Results of China One Child Policy (1984-2013)


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