Saturday, December 03, 2005
One-child Policy Alive and Strong
I think that many people do not understand that the Chinese one-child policy is still in place. In fact, I recently read a financial article where it stated "for years China had a one child policy..." This same article went on to discuss how bad this policy is going to be for China in the coming years. According to Nicholas Eberstadt, writing in The Wall Street Journal, over the next 20 years about two-thirds of China’s total population growth will occur in those 65 and older. That age segment will comprise over 200 million people. By 2025, China’s median age is likely to be higher than the U.S.’s. This is going to make it very difficult for China to remain at high levels of output in manufacturing and the low wage younger population is going to be burdened with having to support their parents because of the poor retirement funds - even more difficult when most families only have one child.
Nevertheless, China still keeps the policy going. Today in the South China Morning Post there was a half page story about a family that decided to have a son even though they already had a 1 1/2 year old daughter. To summarize, the father had a decent job but:
According to the United Nations, Chinas population would be 100 million greater with out the one-child policy. Not to mention the fact they would have a much more accommodating male to female ratio.
This seems like a very antiquated rule and symbolizes another example of the clash between modernism and historical behavior. China is going to continue to be a very interesting country to watch over the coming years while these and many other issues work themselves out as the population becomes more educated and information becomes more readily available.