Fertility policy in China: future options

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Science  06 Mar 1987:
Vol. 235, Issue 4793, pp. 1167-1172
DOI: 10.1126/science.3823877


A wide range of social, economic, and demographic criteria are used to evaluate China's present one-child policy and five alternative fertility policies that might guide China's population control efforts until the end of the century when the one-child policy is scheduled to be abandoned. These criteria include the policies' macrodemographic impact on total population size and population aging; their microdemographic effects on the family's ability to support the elderly, its economic capabilities, and the position of women; and their cultural acceptability to the majority Han Chinese population. The results suggest that the least desirable strategy is to retain the present policy; all the two-child alternatives perform better than the current one-child policy in achieving the policy goals considered.

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