The ruling Communist Party of China has just announced that it will be ending the nation’s controversial ‘one child’ policy. China will now allow couples to have two children.
China’s one child policy was enacted in 1980 to control population, however the policy has led to a demographic crisis and an effective shortage of females. There will be 20 million more bachelors than unmarried women by as soon as 2020. This is not going to result in a happy outcome, and will not doubt lead to an ugly increase in the sex trade and human trafficking.
Given such dramatic and negative unintended consequences of the one child policy (with more to come), one is left to wonder why China doesn’t scrap population control policies all together.
Right now, China, Japan and most Western nations have a looming demographic bomb where fertility rates are well below replacement levels. Japan and European nations such as Italy, Spain and Greece are likely to experience negative population growth in the next couple of decades (unless replaced by immigration) which will have potentially devastating social and economic consequences. Some how, these issues have failed to find their way onto the policy agenda.
China, Japan and western nations need to be encouraging family formation and increased fertility rates rather than placing barriers in their way. While China’s scrapping of the one child policy is a good move, it is frankly, too little too late.
China’s (and Europe and Japan’s) demographic crisis is all but unavoidable. Policies need to be put into place now, just to mitigate the consequences which will inevitably come.
Photo by matt512