Advertisement

Implications of an Unlimited Fertility Policy in China: Lessons from Low Fertility and Population Aging in Japan and Korea

  • Ik Ki KimEmail author
  • Juanjuan Sun
Open Access
Article
  • 22 Downloads

Abstract

In 2016 China began implementing a new population strategy after having maintained a one-child policy for 35 years. This paper draws on the lessons we can learn about low fertility and population aging in Japan and South Korea to consider the implications of the newly announced ‘universal two-child’ policy in China. Japan, Korea and China share many socio-cultural characteristics and have undergone similar processes with respect to low fertility and population aging at different periods of time. Many scholars argue that China’s family planning program has greatly reduced China’s fertility level, but the effects of other socioeconomic factors have, in fact, had a greater impact on the reduction of the fertility rate than the one-child policy had. Considering the effects of the fertility policy that limits the number of births in China and the lessons we can get from unsuccessful fertility boosting measures in Japan and Korea, this paper suggests that a fertility policy that puts no limits on births should be adopted in China.

Key words

Low fertility Population aging Family planning program Universal two-child policy Fertility boosting measures 

Notes

Acknowledgement

Funds: Research project “Population Transition and Support System for Family Care for the Elderly in China, Japan and Korea” sponsored by Asia Research Center, Renmin University of China.

References

  1. Attane, I. (2002). China’s family planning policy: an overview of its past and future. Studies in Family Planning, 33(1): 103–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and State Council. (1980). Resolution concerning the strengthening of birth control and strictly controlling population growth, People’s Daily, May 20, 1980.Google Scholar
  3. Cho, N. H. & Byun, Y. C. (1998). New challenges of population policy development in Korea. Paper presented at International Symposium on Population and Development Policies in Low Fertility Countries, Korean Institute of Health and Social Affairs.Google Scholar
  4. Choi, J. H. & Chang, S. H. (2003). Population distribution, internal migration and urbanization. The Population of Korea. Seoul: Population Association of Korea.Google Scholar
  5. Coale, A. J. (1973). The Demographic Transition. International Population Conference, Vol.1. Liege: IUSSP.Google Scholar
  6. Du, P. (2013). Intergenerational solidarity and old-age support for the social inclusion of elders in Mainland China: the changing roles of family and government. Aging & Society 33(1): 44–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gu, B. C, Wang, F., Guo, Z. G., Zhang, E. I. (2007). China’s local and national fertility policies at the end of the twentieth century. Population and Development Review, 33(1): 129–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Guo, Z. G. (2000). Review and analysis on the indicators of period fertility. Population and Economics. 2000(01): 3–10.Google Scholar
  9. Hong, G. D. 1996. China’s population and population aging. In International Longevity Center. Decline of Fertility and Population Aging in East Asia.Google Scholar
  10. Kim, D. S. (2003). Population growth and transition, in The Population of Korea. KNSO (Korea National Statistics Office).Google Scholar
  11. Kim, I. K. (1999). Population aging in Korea: Social problems and solutions. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare 26(1): 107–123.Google Scholar
  12. Kim, I. K. (2013). Population aging in Korea: An overview, in Choi et al. (eds.). Aging in Korea: Today and Tomorrow, Federation of Korean Gerontological Societies.Google Scholar
  13. Kim, Y., et al. (2010) A study on the growth strategy and policy for the sustainable development in selected countries. Korea Institute for International Economic Policy.Google Scholar
  14. KNSO (Korean National Statistics Office) (2001). Population Projections for Korea, 2000-2050. KOSIS (Korea Statistical Information Service) portal, http://www.kosis.kr Accessed 30 December & 8 August 2016.Google Scholar
  15. Lee, S., et al. (2013). Population situation and population policies in Korea, China and Japan. Seoul: KIHASA.Google Scholar
  16. Mao, Z. Y. (2016). China Daily Newspaper. 2016. 5. 28.Google Scholar
  17. McDonald, P. (2002). Sustaining fertility through public policy: The range of options. Population 57(3): 417–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Myrskylä, M., Billari, F. C. & Kohler, H. P. (2011). High development and fertility: Fertility at older reproductive ages and gender equality explain the positive link. MPIDR Working Paper WP 2011-017.Google Scholar
  19. National Bureau of Statistics. (2014). http://data.stats.gov.cn/easyquery.htm?en=COl&zb = A0301&sj =2014. Accessed 8 August 2016.
  20. National Health and Family Planning Commission (2016). The State Council Information Office at a press conference on the implementation of a comprehensive two child policyreform http://www.nhfpc.gov.cn/xcs/s3574/201601/4dbblb42c44948d6afl0298a5539bd94.shtml, Accessed 8 August 2016.Google Scholar
  21. National Health and Family Planning Commission. (2013). Learn the central government’s spirit of determination; insist on the nation’s basic principles of family planning; take incremental steps to adapt and enhance family planning policies, http://www.nhfpc.gov.Cn/jczds/s3578/201311/2113e68c25704b6c927bc722059e751e.html. Accessed 8 August 2016.Google Scholar
  22. Peng, X. Zh. (2011). China’s demographic history and future challenges. Science 333, 581–587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sodei, T. (1996). Introduction. In Decline of Fertility and Population Aging in East Asia. International Longevity Center.Google Scholar
  24. Sodei, T. & Kudo Y. (1996). The aged society with fewer children and social policies for the elderly. In Decline of Fertility and Population Aging in East Asia. International Longevity Center.Google Scholar
  25. Suzuki, T. (2013). Low Fertility and Population Aging in Japan and Eastern Asia. Springer. Tokyo.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. United Nations (2004). World Population Prospects.Google Scholar
  27. Short, S. E. & Zhai, F. Y. (1998). Looking locally at China’s one-child policy. Studies in Family Planning 29(4): 373–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wu, C. P. & Sun, J. J. (2006). Strategic policy on stabilizing the low fertility level: Retrospect and prospect, Journal of Zhejiang University 36(6): 7–13.Google Scholar
  29. Xi, J. P. (2015). An Explanation of the Proposed 13th Five-Year Plan. Xinhua News Agency, November 3.Google Scholar
  30. Xinhua News Agency (2015). China to Allow Two Children for All Couples. October 29Google Scholar
  31. Yin, W. Y. (1995). The lack of synchronization between policy changes and population control among the Chinese provinces. Population Journal, 2(2): 3–8.Google Scholar
  32. Zhai, Z. W., Zhang, X. L. & Jin, Y. A. (2014). Demographic consequences of an immediate transition to a universal two-child policy, Population Research, 38(2): 3–17.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© China Population and Development Research Center 2015

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Sociology and Population StudiesRenmin University of ChinaBeijingChina
  2. 2.Centre for Population and Development StudiesRenmin University of ChinaBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations