August 3, 2021 One, two or three children? The Chinese Child Policy Shift

The Chinese child policy and its aftermath. Research insights from the one, to the two, to the three child policy. 

Living in Shanghai during the one child policy and initiating my research in Shanghai 2015, right at the shift to the two child policy, I’ve always been fascinated by the impact of the policy on women’s lives. From an individual, family setting, societal, and national perspective. A public health, women’s health, psychological, and economical perspective. 

As long as education is immensely competitive, expensive, and women’s career prospects not improved after more than one child, the situation of the number of children per family won’t change. China’s number of children per family continued to drop, after an initial small rise, following the implementation of the two child policy. Disregarding the governments relaxation of the child policy, allowing families to have three children. Without government massive incentives, families won’t consider multiple children. If China’s families won’t have more children, the age gap will increase and the growth of the economy is in severe danger. Having a massively increasing aging population, a very low retirement age, and a whole generation of single children, the pressure on the current families in reproductive age is immense. China is facing a challenge many middle income countries are encountering, however with a higher pace, as a consequence of the one child policy. It remains a big question mark how China will counter this major threat to its economic growth. 

 

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