A future perspective of one-child family norm in China

IIPS Newsl. 1983 Oct;24(4):1-12.


PIP: In 1967 zero population growth (ZPG) was 1st mentioned as a population policy goal. 12 years later in 1979, China put the 1-child mode into practice to achieve the goal of ZPG. This paper discusses: the reasons for adopting the 1-child family norm in China; differentials in carrying out 1-child family policy; estimating the controlled age specific fertility rates under 2-child family norm and its variety; identifies some implications of the 1-child after obtaining the ZPG goal in terms of the changing population size, the sex ratio at birth, the age structure, the loneliness of the child and kinship relations and some ensuing economic implications. The paper also highlights the main difficulties in adopting 1-child policy and visualizes a possible time for stopping it. It is concluded that the fertility of women must be at the replacement level after the attainment of ZPG for China's population. The introduction of the 1-child family by 1985 would produce a peak population of 1.054 billion by the year 2004 and would reduce the population to 960 million (the 1980 figure by 2028, and to 370 million by 2080. These figures suggest that the 1-child model may be an expedient model to arrest population growth in the future. If it is carried out indefinitely, however, the population will ultimately become extinct. Preference for male children is predominant in China, especially in the rural areas. There is, however, a general tendency for gender balance. The sex ratio at birth is higher for the 1-child model. The sex ratio at birth not only depends on birth order, but also on age and other characteristics of the couple. The 1-child model is a partial solution to the world resource problem. Another advantage of the 1-child model is reduction in expenditure on consumption. Nationwide surveys in the USA indicated that 76% of respondents felt that being an only child is a disadvantage as far as the child's psychological disposition.

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Asia
  • Birth Order
  • China
  • Cohort Studies
  • Demography
  • Developing Countries
  • Economics
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Family Planning Policy*
  • Far East
  • Fertility*
  • Forecasting*
  • Goals*
  • Health Planning
  • Maternal Age
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Only Child*
  • Organization and Administration
  • Population
  • Population Characteristics
  • Population Density
  • Population Dynamics
  • Population Growth*
  • Psychology
  • Public Policy*
  • Research
  • Sex
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Ratio
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Statistics as Topic