China Expects Baby Boom This Decade

Chinese officials expect their nation is on the brink of a significant baby boom in the coming decade. In 1973, the Chinese government introduced family planning laws which restricted families from having more than one child. However, in 1984, the law was changed to allow rural people whose first child was a girl to have another child. The population is currently 1.3 billion and without family planning restrictions might well now have become 1.7 billion. The children of the 1980s are now getting ready to have their own families and all indications are that many urban families want a second child if the first is female. The importance of having a male child is deeply rooted within Chinese civilization. Those studying demography in China are also aware there currently is a migrant population wandering around China which constitutes about 140 million people, and it is difficult making this group be subject to government controls over how many children are born.

A population explosion in China has implications for the world. As the Chinese people become more prosperous, a large increase in the number of children means increased drain about resources and the possibility of even more pollution as car production soars. If official or unofficial pressure to restrict the number of children born in China vanishes, the world will be dealing with a nation of over 2 billion people.