China has one of the largest population densities in the world. In Russia there is a decline in population which is observed to increase drastically. In Western Europe as well, the population decline is as a result of the social and economic lifestyle that the natives lead. Varied measures are therefore taken against the population growing trends. This study compares and contrasts the population management strategies of the above mentioned nations (Gordon, 2005). 2. 0 Population growth in Russia Presently, there is a remarkable decline in population and this is a major problem in Russia.
Russia’s population is estimated to be 143 million, however, in every year there is a turn down of about seven hundred thousand people; calculations indicate that this decline is about one hundred people dying every hour; this has led to predictions that the country’s population by the year 2050 could be as low as one hundred and twenty million. It could also have an economic and geopolitical impact (Gordon, 2005). a) Causes of the population crisis The observed high mortality rate, short life expectancy and an increasing number of deaths from causes that are not natural; are the major factors contributing to the population decline in Russia.
Russia’s number of deaths per 1,000 people is at 16, compared to Western Europe which is 5. Out of the 150,000 people who die in natural deaths, 46,000 are suicidal cases, 40,000 killed in road accidents, 36,000 murdered and 36,000 are as a result of alcohol poisoning. High abortion in Russia contributes to the low birth rate. However there is a great decline in abortion since the Soviet times when abortion was utilized as a method of birth control (Gordon, 2005). The official statistics survey indicates that there are 1.
6 million abortions in Russian women, which is higher than the birth rate. Generally, there is a low birth rate in the country attributed to high rates of alcoholism and economic hardship. Currently, Russia’s birth rate is 1. 34 children per woman of fertile age, which is less compared to the required 2. 14 children per woman. Additionally, the estimated life expectancy in Russia is about 58 years for men and 72 for women, thus thirty percent of the men population do not reach the beginning of their pension age (Gordon, 2005).
Russian experts also suggest that the depopulation in the country is due to political and economic upheaval experienced in the country in the 1990s. Due to bad planning and implementing of liberal economic reforms, social insecurity was evident among the nationals and thus they sought to have fewer children. The rate of foreigners moving into Russia is low; little relocation is observed within the former republics of the Soviet Union. However the rate of movement of nationals outside Russia to Western Europe and other places is high and it’s usually for search of a better economic situation (Gordon, 2005).
b) Management strategies In 2005, there was an increase in the number of births which was due to a large number of girls born in the 1970s-1980s who could bear children by then. Thus the birth rate can be stimulated, the maternal and infant mortality rates reduced. By enhancing the reproductive health and quality of the population, the population growth can be boosted. A new demographic development concept is essential for it will outline the national goals such as average increase of life expectancy in the nationals and increase in birth rate.
Russia has a chronic occurrence of cardiac and oncological diseases. The average life expectancy can be boosted by six more years if an initiative is taken to reduce deaths that arise from such disorders (Gordon, 2005). 3. 0 Population growth in China and management strategies China is among the world’s top nations that experience a very large population with a relatively small youth cohort which is attributed to the People’s Republic of China’s one –child policy. Except for the population policies implemented in China in 1979, the current population in china would be reading at 1.
7 billion. It is recorded that china’s population in 1953 was 582 million; however by the year 2000, the population was twice as much, estimated at 1. 2 billion (Peng, & Guo, 2000). The first leaders in China believed that a large population was a great investment, yet, as the population grew rapidly it became a liability and this led to a mass campaign effort for birth control by the Ministry of Public health; though this was in vain. Again, a rapid population was experienced after the interval of the ‘Great Leap Forward’.
In the 1960s, emphasis was laid on late marriage and in 1964; birth control offices were established in the central government and at the provincial level, contraceptives were used in family planning. This campaign was seen to be successful until the Cultural Revolution era (Peng, & Guo, 2000). In 1972 and 1973, birth control resources were distributed countrywide. At administrative and in various collective enterprises, committees were launched to ensure implementation of the birth control programs; both rural and urban areas were covered.
Mao Zeodong who was behind the family planning movement died in 1976, and the government failed to acknowledge that economic growth and improved living standards are affected by the population growth. However, in the 1970s the fast growing population of China prompted the government to establish a limit in the number of children born; the highest suggested family size was two children in cities and three or four in the countryside (Peng, & Guo, 2000). Since 1979, the one-child policy that was widely in use.
The policy had different guiding principles on national minorities and only one child was permitted to the married couples. The policy helped China to achieve its goal of stability and a fertility rate that was greatly reduced; an average of 5. 4 children per women was reported. Those who observed the one child program were rewarded by getting a one-child certificate that permitted them to get cash bonuses, better childcare, longer maternity leave and good housing allowances; and they were to pledge that they would not bear children anymore.
The population in the rural areas however, determined the efficiency in the policy implementation program; since they accounted for 60% of the total population (Peng, & Guo, 2000). Studies indicate that coercive measures were used in order to make the one-child policy a success. The assumed methods included psychological pressure, use of physical force, and in some cases forcing abortions and infanticide. However, the government officials insisted that the family planning process was on voluntary basis and measures applied in implementing the programs were persuasive and economic based (Peng, & Guo, 2000).
Between 1970 and 1980, there was a drop in the crude birth rate from 36. 9 per 1,000 to 17. 6 per 1000, which was due to “wan xi shao” birth control campaign,-late marriages, longer intervals between births and fewer children. In addition, the social and economic changes that had taken place, amongst which was the high level of employment of women in rural and urban areas and low mortality rate in infants, may have contributed to the aforementioned. Nonetheless, in the countryside, people valued large families, especially sons, for assistance in the fields and support during old age.
This seems to have applied to the rest of China as a whole; there is a gender imbalance in China; the 2000 census report showed that 119 boys born of every 100 girls. The government was thus forced to ban the selective abortion for female fetuses in July 2004 (Peng, & Guo, 2000). 4. 0 Population growth in Western Europe Since the 1960s, there is a substantial decline in Western Europe’s population which is accredited to low fertility rates. By 1999, the total fertility rates had dropped so much; an average of 1. 45 was recorded in the fifteen European Union countries.
A total fertility rate at 1. 5 is presently experienced by eight out of fifteen of the western European countries. However, there are immense disparity among these countries in terms of timing and the level of when the decline started as well and in the rate and decline duration. Socioeconomic and demographic factors have contributed to the differences in pattern of West European fertility levels. There are concerns pertaining to the imbalance of the population age structure, ability to maintain European welfare state systems and consistency in social affairs.
This has les to the implementing of family policies in order to safeguard the nations’ populations (Caldwell et al. 2006). a) Management strategies i) Maternity protection: this was a step towards creating an opportunity for women to give birth because of the demand from employment, differences in gender and equality; protection of labor and regulation. The Western European countries thus introduced compulsory maternity leaves for women who are working. Other countries such as France introduced a policy in support of women in reconciling employment with motherhood.
In Scandinavia, greater emphasis was put in leaves and protective labor legislation. The recommended maternity leave period is 14weeks; however it varies between 20weeks in Italy and 16-18 weeks being the common length in other countries (Caldwell et al. 2006). ii) Parental leave: the government has amended the parental leave regulations and different parental-leave schemes have been implemented. These leaves are available only to parents and they vary from one country to another. The benefits also vary significantly; in some countries they are either unpaid or given a low pay (Caldwell et al.
2006). iii) Childcare services: at the beginning of industrialization, childcare services were instituted to cater for the orphans and children who were unattended due since their mothers were working. However up to the 20th century, childcare services changed to charity education to promote social and individual development. The catholic institutions were pioneers in provision of this kind of service. Presently the services offered differ athwart the nations (Caldwell et al. 2006). iv) Child benefits: this system came up as wide array of policy intentions.
Its major role was to cater families in need for instance widows who had children and divorced or single mothers. However these support systems vary in terms of services offered across the countries (Caldwell et al. 2006). 5. 0 Conclusion In Russia and Western Europe, population decline is the major crisis which is as a result of varied factors. Russia’ decline is caused by inappropriate standards of living and in Europe, the level of industrialization that has created working opportunities has denied women the chance to bear children, hence population decline.
In China, the challenge is high population that is caused by uncontrolled popular growth. The future population in China is likely to face gender imbalance and besides it has an increasingly aging population. There is a limitation in the way services are offered in the family systems. A cross-national variation in family policies’ provisions and modalities is evident in Europe. Hence it is difficult to look into the effects of family policies on individual childbearing behavior in order to make a comparison between the countries.
Some countries share fertility advances, and family policy systems. The countries in West Europe are clearly divided (Caldwell, et al. 2006). References: Peng, & X. , Guo, Z. (2000): The Changing Population of China, ISBN 0631201920, 9780631201922, Blackwell Publishing. Caldwell, B. K. , Caldwell, P. , Caldwell, J. C. , Caldwell, P. Schindlmayr, T. McDonald, P. F. (2006): Demographic Transition Theory. ISBN 1402043732, 9781402043734, Springer Gordon, E. E. (2005): The 2010 meltdown: solving the impending jobs crisis. ISBN 0275984362, 9780275984366, Greenwood Publishing Group
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