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China’s ‘One-Child Policy’ Delayed World’s Reaching Population Of 7 Billion; China To Maintain Policy

“The world’s population is expected to hit seven billion around October 31,” CNN’s Jaime FlorCruz reports in his column, “Jaime’s China.” This is a number that would have been reached five years earlier were it not for China’s family planning policy, according to Zhai Zhenwu, a professor at Renmin University School of Sociology and Population. FlorCruz writes that experts at the National Population and Family Planning Commission of China say “the policy has prevented more than 400 million births in the country.”

According to the column, Canadian demographer Aprodicio Laquian, who served as the UNFPA representative and senior adviser on population in China from 1984 to 1990, explained that China’s so-called “one-child policy” was designed in 1979 as a temporary measure until the country’s “growth rate reached replacement levels.” According to the column, Laquian “says supporters of the policy now cite the double-digit economic growth rate since 1979 as the so-called ‘demographic dividend.'” FlorCruz writes, “The policy has also brought about a list of unintended socio-economic consequences,” such as the country’s current “lopsided sex ratio in infants and young children” and its rapidly aging population (10/28).

In related news, “China will adhere to its family planning policy,” Li Bin, director of China’s State Population and Family Planning Commission, said in an interview with Xinhua on Sunday. Noting that “overpopulation remains one of the major challenges to social and economic development,” he said, “Maintaining and improving the existing family planning policy and keeping a low reproduction rate, along with addressing the issues of gender imbalance and an aging population, will be the major tasks in the future” (10/30).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.