News FocusDemography

Has China Outgrown The One-Child Policy?

Science  17 Sep 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5998, pp. 1458-1461
DOI: 10.1126/science.329.5998.1458

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Summary

China's one-child policy may have slowed population growth in the world's most populous country. But it has also produced a rapidly aging population, a shrinking labor force, and a skewed sex ratio at birth, perils that many demographers say could threaten China's economy and social fabric. As the most spectacular demographic experiment in history, the one-child policy is unprecedented in its scope and extremity. The measure is so sacrosanct that officials who have dared in the past to hint at its dissolution have been quickly silenced. But a growing number of experts contend that the policy, which turns 30 next week, has run its course.