China Announces End of One Child Policy


The Chinese government has announced the end of its one-child policy. It has been in effect since 1979 and has slowed down population growth in China for over three decades. Without the policy, China would probably have a total of 1.7 billion people instead of the 1.3 billion it has today. Now Chinese couples can officially have two children.

The decision comes at a time when Chinese authorities are worried about their country's ageing population. China's economic growth is endangered because fewer young workers are entering the workforce. At the moment , about a third of China's  population is over 50. By 2050, over 35 % of the population will be over 65.

China started its family planning policy, aimed at slowing down population growth,  at the end of the 1970s.  Couples who had a second child had to pay fines and suffered from disadvantages at work. The single child of a family was supported by state benefits and free education up to a university degree. While this policy focused mainly on urban areas, families in rural China were allowed to have two children if the first was a girl. The policy led to hundreds of thousands of abortions over the decades. Illegally-born girls were often laid away or adopted by westerners. This has led to a gender imbalance in China.



Human rights organizations continue to criticize China's population planning. They say the new regulations simply change a one-child policy into a two-child policy. Women still do not have the right to determine how many children they want to have.



Related Topics




  • abortion =the killing of an unborn baby
  • aim = target
  • announce = to say in public; officially
  • authorities = government organizations that have power
  • benefits = here:money given by the state
  • couple = man and woman who live together or are married
  • decade = ten years
  • degree = you get it when you finish the university; a title that you can use with your name
  • determine = decide
  • disadvantage = bad side of something
  • endangered = in danger
  • family planning = to control the number of children a family has
  • fine = money that you pay as a punishment
  • focus = concentrate on
  • gender imbalance = when there are more men than women or the other way around
  • government = the people who rule a country
  • growth = the way something becomes larger
  • human rights = the basic rights that everyone should have
  • illegal = against the law
  • in effect = here: the time when it became law
  • policy = the way a government does something
  • regulation = law
  • rural = countryside
  • support = help; give money to
  • urban = city
  • workforce = all the people who work in a country