Socio-Economic Consequences of China’s ‘One-child per Couple’ Population Policy

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Background History
China’s population growth began to increase during the Ming Dynasty, and increased dramatically throughout Qing. The population grew around 65million in the late 14th century to more than 400 million in 1949 (Spengler 1962: 112). Since the People Republic of China was founded, Mao had seen the population growth as favorable to industrialization, and he believed that population growth empowered the country (Potts 2006). In the 1950s, the government began to realize that the food supply would soon become insufficient for the rapidly growing population, and stopped encouraging people to have more children through propaganda posters. In the beginning of the 1970s, the government launched the “Later, Longer, Fewer” campaign.
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Background History
China’s population growth began to increase during the Ming Dynasty, and increased dramatically throughout Qing. The population grew around 65million in the late 14th century to more than 400 million in 1949 (Spengler 1962: 112). Since the People Republic of China was founded, Mao had seen the population growth as favorable to industrialization, and he believed that population growth empowered the country (Potts 2006). In the 1950s, the government began to realize that the food supply would soon become insufficient for the rapidly growing population, and stopped encouraging people to have more children through propaganda posters. In the beginning of the 1970s, the government launched the “Later, Longer, Fewer” campaign. It encourage couples to marry at a later age, have 4-8 years break from the first child’s birth before having the second child, and couples were encouraged to have only 2 children (Greenhalgh 2008: 49). In 1979, the one-child policy was implemented to further control the population growth.

Description of One-Child Policy as it was First Implemented in 1979
The one-child policy restricted most families from having more than one child, and couples were required to get permission from the head of their work unit before having a child. Having a second child without permission, could lead to difficulties in registering the second child to the household registration system, and therefore losing the benefits of public health services and

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