|Families with more than one kid? Where will we put all of them?|
|Subject||China reconsiders its one-child policy.|
|Topic||Economics and the Environment|
population control, China, one-child policy, fertility rates.
China is beginning to reconsider its draconian measures to curb population growth by restricting families to only one child. The huge country is beginning to consider allowing families in some parts of the country to have two children if they wish.
There have always been exceptions to the one-child rule. Rural families whose first-born child is a girl are allowed to have a second child. Some ethnic minorities are allowed two children. And in some urban areas, married individuals who themselves were only children are allowed more than one child. This has not been enough to stem the decline in the female fertility rate, now at 1.69 per female A rate of 2.1 is considered the rate at which a population can hold its own, just reproducing itself. At this rate, the Chinese population will begin to fall by about 2050.
The government argues that such measures have reduced births by approximately 300 million since the 1960s, easing the use of scarce resources and the spread of poverty. A further financial problem loom for China’s pension system, known as the “4-2-1 phenomenon.” Four grandparents are supported by 2 parents, who are in turn supported by only one child. By 2040 the financial burden will have reached catastrophic proportion.
|Source||“A brother for her.” The Economist. 16 December 2005. http://www.economist.com|
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