Beijing: A Chinese expert has called for an end to China’s controversial family planning policy, claiming the world’s second-largest economy’s population will be only 65% of India’s by 2050 due to the one-child policy pursued by the government. China ended its decades-old one-child policy in 2016 and permitted couples to have two children as the population of elderly rose with declining numbers of young people.
China introduced its one-child family planning policy in 1979 and replaced it with the two-child policy in January 2016. Chinese officials estimate that the one-child policy started in 1979 has prevented 400 million births. Reports say China plans to scrap the family planning policy altogether. -Agencies
China: An aging society
China had more than 230.8 million people aged 60 or above at the end of 2016, 16.7% of the country’s total population, the Ministry of Civil Affairs had said in August 2017. By international standards, a country or region is considered to be an ‘aging society’ when the number of people aged 60 or above comprises at least 10% of the total population.
‘A low fertility trap’
- ‘China has entered a low fertility trap and its aging population will impede economic development. China should make tremendous reforms to its social structure, and the first step is to end the policy,’ Yi Fuxian, researcher, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said.
- ‘If China maintains its fertility rate of 1.2 by 2050 and 2100, its population would be 65% and 32%, respectively, of India’s population. The policy has helped the country reduce the number of births by 400 million as of 2018,’ Fuxian added.
- ‘If China had not implemented its family planning policy, its fertility rate would nevertheless have dropped along with its economic development,’ Fuxian said.