Just The Facts

China Vs. the World: One-Child Policy

How the One-Child Policy changed China’s population trajectory.

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Takeaways


  • Before the one-child policy was imposed in 1980, China’s population from 1950 had grown by 81%.
  • After the one child policy was imposed in 1980, China’s population grew by only 41%.
  • China’s 2015 share of the global population is 18.72%, down from 22.1% in 1980.

1. China’s one-child policy – replaced by a two-child policy in October 2015 – was imposed by the Chinese Communist Party in 1980, under Deng Xiaoping.

2. Its intention was as a means of controlling runaway population growth.

3. At that time, China was much poorer than it is today. GDP per capita in current dollars was 35 times higher in 2013 than in 1980.

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4. Sustained levels of high population growth were seen as worsening the problem.

5. The policy limited most Chinese couples to having only one child. The overall impact of this measure has been profound.

6. From 1950 to 1980, China’s population grew by 81% — outpacing world population growth, which increased by 76% over those three decades.

7. From 1980 to 2013, however, world population has grown by 61%, while China’s population grew by only 41%.

8. In the same span, by contrast, India’s population grew by 79%.

9. India is on track to overtake China in terms of population by 2022, according to projections by the United Nations.

10. China’s 2015 share of the global population is 18.72%, down from 22.1% in 1980.

Sources: The Globalist Research Center, UN Population Division, World Bank

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