Evaluate the social and economic impacts of the ‘One Child’ Policy in China
In the year 1979, China was suffering a severe increase in population, and because of this Deng Xiaoping (leader of the communist party of China) introduced China to an anti-natalist policy called the ‘One Child’ policy. An anti-natalist policy aims to decrease the crude birth rate and the total fertility rate in a country in order to slow the population growth . This policy generated many social and economical impacts and in this essay I will talk about the social advantages of the policy, the social disadvantages, the economical advantages and finally the economical disadvantages.
Firstly, the ‘One Child’ policy has created social advantages in China, since the population growth rate decreased. Due to the fact that the ‘One Child’ policy restricts women from only having one child in urban areas (there are some exceptions, like twins, lived in a rural area, if your child died then you can have another), this slowed down the crude birth rate and the total fertility rate. If China’s population kept on growing at the same rate like it was before any policies were introduced they would have encountered problems with resources. Resources are limited and China only has a certain amount of land, food, natural resources and water.
This policy lowered the pressure on the limited amounts of resources and enabled people to have enough food and water to have a good enough quality of life and not live in fright, that one-day there wont be enough food and water. Furthermore, if a couple follows this policy, they would be offered some incentives. These incentives include that they would have access to health services and the child would have an education . This is a great advantage because the child will have an education and can learn and develop as a person and hopefully have a higher chance of succeeding in life. Also, access to health services is a great benefit because some families wouldn’t be able to afford health services. It will make sure that the family will be healthy and hopefully live longer. Women will receive education about having a child and will receive free contraception. With this, we can say that the ‘One Child’ policy created social advantages to people living in China.
Secondly, the ‘One child’ policy also has produced social disadvantages in China, like a gender imbalance and other social problems. Only having one child in a family can create some social problems with the child. Individuals who grew up, as single children as a result of China’s policy were considerably less trustworthy, more risk-averse, less competitive, more pessimistic, and less conscientious individuals . Their social skills will be poor with other children since they have no siblings at home. The parents usually spoil the child since it’s the only child they have, this is how the name the ‘little emperors’ was created for an only child. Additionally, the male to female ratio has drastically leaded towards the male side.
This is because parents prefer to have a boy rather than a girl because when the parents get older, they will have to depend on their son’s wife to take care of them. If they had a girl then they wouldn’t be able to move in with their daughter because the daughter will look after her husbands parents rather than her own parents. This has a created a gender imbalance (for every 6 boys born in China, there are 5 girls) in China and has caused many older men to have no partner due to the simple fact that there aren’t enough women for the amount of men. In addition, there are some cases where unwanted girls are abandoned or aborted even though it is illegal in China. These children will have to be adopted or go to an orphanage. Child trafficking is at a record high in China and for the purpose of exploitation, which is a human right violation. Since there is a fall in the crude birth rate and total fertility rate there is going to be a greater gap between the younger population and the ageing population, which will mean that China could become a ageing population instead of a stable population. As we can see, China’s ‘One Child’ policy has made many negative social impacts in China.
Thirdly, economic advantages of the ‘One Child’ policy are seen in China with a clear economic growth in China. It costs quite a lot to raise one child and it’s not easy to raise another child and therefore families will save money by only having one child. It is also believed that the ‘One Child’ policy is benefitting the economic future of China because it aids to improve the living standards and saves a lot more resources as I said before. Furthermore, the policy also reduces unemployment in China because there will be more jobs available to people since there will be a decrease in population.
This will allow most people to have a job and earn more money and therefore their standards of living will be better. The ‘One Child’ policy has had some positive economic impacts on China and the living quality for the Chinese.
Fourthly, the ‘One Child’ policy has generated negative economic impacts on China. Older generations are dependent on the younger generations. The one child that is economically active is going to need to take care of his/her parents. However, if the one child is unable to take care because they don’t have a job, his/her parents will then face a very tough end of their life with very few resources. Also if you do have more than one child then you will receive a fine of a certain amount (depends on which province you live in), which can affect the family. The ‘One Child’ policy has so far created these negative economic problems on China.
In conclusion, the ‘One Child’ policy has generated positive and negative social and economical impacts. I think that the policy is doing what it should be doing to China’s population, which is lowering it and slowing down the growth rate. China would be close to 2 billion people right now if the policy wasn’t introduced in my opinion, instead of its current population 1.3 billion .
Word Count: 1063
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