China Birth Control Case Study

Geography Case Study GCSE "China's one child policy"

Case-Study Information for the One child policy, which China set up to reduce the population. This is idea for the human geography paper, or just an example for another subject which uses this case study in the exams.
Why was the one child policy made?
This policy was made because the population of china was going up too quickly and this meant that the population was too high for the land mass and resources used. The policy was put in pace because the population was estimated to be at 0.6 million in 1950 when the population was unstable, then by 1975 the population was 0.9 billion, as this growth would have lead to famine and mass starvation.
When was this policy introduced?
What did the one child policy do, when it was first introduced?
1. People could only have one child per married couple unless they wanted to have a fines which would bankrupt the wealthier families.
2. Only people which come from both single parents would be able to have 2 children and be in the laws boundaries, as this is unusual as most couples had a single child.
3.Farmers could only have one child, the same went to all farmers.
Negatives to the One child policy:
1. Increased infanticide rates
2. Girls manly placed in orphanages were they are starved and they eventually die.
3. More men to women based on the census.
4. Those which are a single child have to look after 2 parents, 2 grandparents, and so on.
Positives to the One Child policy:
1. This reduced the population by 500 million births.
2. Reduced the risk of famine and starvation.
3. Higher quality of life for those who have one child.
4. The population growth became stable when controlled.
Long term negative effects on China:
1. Reduced population growth, leads to natural population decrease and this means population may fall to quickly, as for every one child there is only 2 deaths: 2 parents = 1 Child.
2. Reduced levels of skills because of less people and less natural skill range.
Long term positive effects:
1. More resources per person means increased standard of living.
How the policy has changed?
1. Since major incidents such as earthquakes and this has caused deaths of children, and some couples only could have one child, so for this reason couples with lost children could have more children.
2. Couples which the participants are from 1 single child family, and one sibling families would be allowed two children so that the population isn't as stressed when it comes to look after the relatives.
3. Richer families can afford more children and for this reason they can afford the fine which is placed, as well as the health care and schooling fees.
4. Farming families which live and need a man to inherit the farm, means that if you have a child and you had a daughter it would be a bad omen so that you would be able to have another child which reduces the infant mortality rates.
How effective has this policy been? Name an after effect?
Very, however the later effects will be seen when the population needs to even out, and such there will be men which cannot have children because there is less women there.

Case study: China

Cyclists in Beijing, China

In the late 1970s, the Chinese government introduced a number of measures to reduce the country's birth rate and slow the population growth rate. The most important of the new measures was a one-child policy, which decreed that couples in China could only have one child.

  • In 1950 the rate of population change in China was 1.9 per cent each year. If this doesn't sound high, consider that a growth rate of only 3 per cent will cause the population of a country to double in less than 24 years!
  • Previous Chinese governments had encouraged people to have a lot of children to increase the country's workforce. But by the 1970s the government realised that current rates of population growth would soon become unsustainable.

The one-child policy

The one-child policy, established in 1979, meant that each couple was allowed just one child. Benefits included increased access to education for all, plus childcare and healthcare offered to families that followed this rule.

Problems with enforcing the policy:

  • Those who had more than one child didn't receive these benefits and were fined.
  • The policy was keenly resisted in rural areas, where it was traditional to have large families.
  • In urban areas, the policy has been enforced strictly but remote rural areas have been harder to control.
  • Many people claim that some women, who became pregnant after they had already had a child, were forced to have an abortion and many women were forcibly sterilised. There appears to be evidence to back up these claims.

Impact of the policy

  • The birth rate in China has fallen since 1979, and the rate of population growth is now 0.7 per cent.
  • There have been negative impacts too - due to a traditional preference for boys, large numbers of female babies have ended up homeless or in orphanages, and in some cases killed. In 2000, it was reported that 90 per cent of foetuses aborted in China were female.
  • As a result, the gender balance of the Chinese population has become distorted. Today it is thought that men outnumber women by more than 60 million.

Long-term implications

China's one-child policy has been somewhat relaxed in recent years. Couples can now apply to have a second child if their first child is a girl, or if both parents are themselves only-children.

While China's population is now rising more slowly, it still has a very large total population (1.3 billion in 2008) and China faces new problems, including:

  • the falling birth rate - leading to a rise in the relative number of elderly people
  • fewer people of working age to support the growing number of elderly dependants - in the future China could have an ageing population

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