China Backtracks on One-Child Policy in Face of Massive Demographic Crisis

After decades of limiting families to one child via forced abortions and sterilization, the Chinese government is undertaking a campaign to encourage more babies in hopes of staving off a demographic crisis.  China began implementing its one-child policy in 1980, amid fears of food shortages and hopes of cutting the country’s population to under 1.2 billion by the end of the 20th century. In 2016, concerns that there would be too few young workers to replace and support an aging population led the Communist regime to allow couples to have two children. That concession sparked a brief population spike that year, but it didn’t continue into 2017.  A government study released in July estimated that the Chinese workforce could decline by 100 million people from 2020 to 2035, and by another 100 million from 2035 to 2050. Additionally, by discriminating against baby girls, China’s draconian policies left fewer women in the population to give birth in the first place.

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