Log in   •   Sign up   •   Subscribe  feed icon

Census Results May Prompt Changes in China's One-Child Policy


1.34 billion... a lot of people by any estimation but China's population according to the 2010 census is about 60 million less than the 1.4 billion previously predicted by some demographic models. As well, China's population grew by 5.84 percent from the 1.27 billion recorded in the year 2000. Contrast that rate of increase with the 11.7 percent jump between 1990 and 2000.

“These figures have shown the trend of excessively rapid growth of China’s population has been under effective control,” stated Ma Jiantang, head of China's National Bureau of Statistics.

Not so fast, Ma. China's draconian laws pertaining to  family size may ratcheted annual population growth to under 1 percent but ripple effects will be far-reaching: a smaller future labor pool will pay less total taxes, demand higher wages and may balk at carrying the weight of an increasingly graying population on their economic backs.

China is also rapidly becoming  more urbanized. In 2010, nearly half of China’s citizens (49.7 percent) lived in towns and cities. Only 36.1 percent lived in urban areas according to the 2000 census. China's economic success has been largely accomplished by way of cheap labor who have migrated to cities from poor rural farms and collectives. What happens when that tap runs dry?

There's more: census results paint a striking picture of China's shift from pink to gray. In  2000, the proportion of mainland Chinese aged 14 or younger was 22.89 percent – in 2010 the percentage had dropped to just 16.60 percent.

At the other end of the age spectrum, the number of people aged 60 or older grew 2.93 percentage points to 13.26 percent.

These figures are a snapshot in time but their message is clear: a set of trends has been set in motion and as dire as the numbers look in 2010, they could pale in comparison to what 2020 might bring.

 


Could these advance warnings induce changes in China's “One-Child” policy? Ma Jiantang is leaving the door open, as it were, stating that China would have to “actively respond to the new challenges in demographic development.”

No timetable was announced, however, and while government considers what to do, a different kind of population bomb is steadily ticking away. (via Reuters and Xinhua)

Comments
Apr 28, 2011
by Anonymous

China -- Voluntary Euthanasia the Answer?

If and when the seniors health and welfare problem in China becomes unmanageable, the government will take whatever dramatic action is necessary to deal with it -- probably a huge voluntary euthanasia program many elderly will subscribe to rather than live sick and painful and solitary lives in sterile seniors' warehouse factories with almost nobody except for mechanical robots to care for them.
Also, since seniors are more susceptible the common illnesses that are often lethal if not medically treated immediately, China's future health care will probably provide sedative drugs to ease the pain and discomfort, and allow them to die quickly.
Sounds cruel and arbitrary, but likely to happen, not only in China but around the developed world where a growing number of sick elderly would prefer voluntary euthanasia which they have control over to being warehoused in glorified death institutions family members rarely visit regularly, if at all, until it is time to pick up the bodies.
The real scary situation is in India -- also with about 1.3 billion people -- where the young population is expanding at jet speed without any hope of feeding or employing them in the future, especially if/as Climate Change destroys crops and changes the land that agriculture depends upon.
But India does not have a powerful central government able to introduce and implement the dramatic measures needed to deal the hundreds of millions more people within the next decade or two -- a very short period of time.

Aug 3, 2011
by Anonymous

Oh HAI! Know wut else? lulz...

The 1 child policy also has another "side effect". Too many men and not enough women in China. Maybe they will just legalize gay marriage...lulz...

I can see it know...Chen bawson marries Lu Chin. Come join us for the bawson - chin wedding...lulz...

Dec 9, 2011
by Anonymous

one child policy

I don't agree with China's one child policy. They are feeling the negative effects now and more of it in the future.

Dec 10, 2011
by Anonymous

Andrew

I hope China will finally change their one child policy...for the people's sake.

Dec 14, 2011
by Anonymous

teribble idea!

That's a terrible idea! Voluntary euthanasia for the senior citizens! How can you even think of that!

Dec 14, 2011
by Anonymous

not the answer

That is not the answer. That idea makes me sick.

Dec 21, 2011
by Anonymous

wish

I really wish China will change its one child policy and let the people or the parents decide on how many children they want to have.