What is two-child policy?


The two-child policy is the most recent family planning (birth control) policy in China (the two-child policy was passed on 29th Oct, 2015 during The Fifth Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the 18th CPC National Congress)
regulating that one couple of parents can only have up to two children, those parents who have more than two children will be subject to administrative fine as well as relevant policy restrictions. The two-child policy which is in place of the 35-year long one-child policy represents the Chinese government’s efforts to move toward a more suitable family planning policy as well as a better population structure. In addition, it is believed that this policy changes reflects the great pressure the government and the Chinese people face as the trend of an ageing population becomes more obvious and cannot be neglected.

Background of the two-child policy

  • Ageing population
    Chart 1.0 China age structure (2015)

Chart 1.0 China age structure (CIA World Factbook 2015)

The chronological age of 65 years is commonly used as a definition of ‘elderly’ or older person (WHO 2015). Based on the statisCIA World Factbooktics from CIA World Factbook (2015), by the end of 2015 older people (aged 65 and over) will account for 12% of the total population. Since United Nations defines an ageing society as a society in which more than 7 percent of the population is over the age of 65, China had clearly entered into an ageing society, and this trend will surely continue if the birth control policy is still stringent.

  • Ending of the demographic dividend

The demographic dividend is the accelerated economic growth that may result from a decline in a country’s mortality and fertility. With fewer people to support, a country has a window of opportunity for rapid economic growth if the right social and economic policies developed and investments made (prb.org 2015). Professor Wang from Fudan University categories 3 different stages related to the demographic dividend:-

1st stage: 1982~2000 Demographic dividend boosted the economy development, and may have contributed to 15~25% of the economic growth (during the same period, China enjoyed an unprecedented period of economic growth by keeping an annual GDP growth rate of almost 10%;

2nd stage: 2000~2013 Declining of demographic dividend;

3rd stage: 2013~2050 Finish of demographic transition, demographic dividend will no long exist;

two-child policy

Reference & Remarks

CIA World Factbook (2015) FIELD LISTING :: AGE STRUCTURE [online] available: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2010.html

prb.org 2015 The Challenge of Attaining the Demographic Dividend [online] available: http://www.prb.org/Publications/Reports/2012/demographic-dividend.aspx

WHO 2015 Definition of an older or elderly person [online] available: http://www.who.int/healthinfo/survey/ageingdefnolder/en/

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