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From Child to Three: How China’s family planning policies have evolved


China on Monday raised the number of children married couples are legally allowed to have to three in two, in a bid to avert a looming crisis as the birth rate in the world’s most populous country declines steadily .

The country of 1.4 billion people, which introduced a one-child policy in 1980 to slow population growth, has implemented some of the most invasive family planning practices in the world. But as the country’s workforce ages, the government has increased the legal size of families.

Here’s a look at China’s population policy as it has been covered over the decades by The New York Times.


With the failed policies of the Communist Party of the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward behind it, China is looking for ways to slow the growth of the world’s most populous nation, which is approaching one billion people.

The central government approves a proposal in which family planning offices encourage couples to have one child, or at most two. Some areas are going further and starting to apply a “one child” rule.


A national conference of family planning officials is making proposals that couples should be limited to having one child, and state news media are promoting the idea. Chinese provinces are experimenting with measures to curb population growth, including providing additional food rations to couples in Sichuan province who pledge to have only one child.

As Population Approaches Billion, China Emphasizes Borders


The Communist Party is ordering its 38 million members to have one child, one of a series of measures that are being gradually expanded and aimed at reducing population growth to zero by the year 2000. The policy begins to be applied across the country, with a few exceptions. ethnic minorities and rural families.

In New China, 1 + 1 box = 4 no more


The National People’s Congress approves a new constitution which, for the first time, enshrines birth control as the duty of every Chinese citizen.

Chinese parliament approves new constitution


In Guangxi province, where family planning regulations are strictly enforced, parents looking for sons sell their young daughters on the black market. At the time, 80% of trafficked babies were girls, according to a Chinese scholar.

Prejudice against boys leads to sale of baby girls in China


Chinese officials say they will start studying how to move away from the country’s one-child restriction, but warn that any changes will come gradually and not mean the elimination of family planning policies. Although enforcement of the policy has softened in many places, there are still reports of forced sterilizations and abortions.

China reconsiders limit for one child


The Chinese government is relaxing the one-child policy, allowing couples in the country to have two children if one of the spouses is an only child.

China to ease long-term one-child limit policy


China is ending the one-child policy, announcing that all married couples will be allowed to have two children, in a bid to reverse the rapidly aging workforce.

China to end one-child policy, allowing two-child families


Chinese academics are warning the country’s leaders that decades-long family planning initiatives have led to a precipitous decline in population growth, paving the way for possible demographic, economic and even political crises in the near future.

The falling birth rate, coupled with an increase in life expectancy, means there will soon be too few workers to support a huge and aging population, the researchers warn.

China’s impending crisis: a declining population


The Politburo, the Communist Party’s main decision-making body, announces that it will allow all Chinese couples to have three children, ending the two-child policy that has failed to increase the decline in China’s birth rate. country. The news comes weeks after census data showed there had been just 12 million births the previous year, the lowest number since 1961.

The new policy “will help improve the population structure of our country and help implement a national strategy to actively respond to the aging of the population,” the government said.

China says it will allow couples to have 3 children, instead of 2



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