Three Children Policy Of China

By Aman|Updated : June 1st, 2021

Days after China’s census data showed population growth slipping to its slowest rate since the 1950s, the country has announced it will now allow three children per married couple. Read this article to know why China has abandoned its 1 child policy, what were its pros and cons and the way ahead.

Table of Content

Three Children Policy Of China


Days after China’s census data showed population growth slipping to its slowest rate since the 1950s, the country has announced it will now allow three children per married couple — five years after it first relaxed its controversial one-child policy to two.


Source: FT


  • China’s one-child policy had remained in place until 2016, when the ruling Communist Party to allow two children per married couple.
  • Even as a three-child policy has now been announced, many remain skeptical, wondering how it would be able to address challenges that the 2016 change could not, due to factors such as higher cost of living and long working hours.


How well did China’s one-child policy work?


  • It controlled population growth at a crucial time.
  • It helped the country avert severe crisis by preventing 400 million births.


  • It was also a source of discontent, as the state used brutal tactics such as forced abortions and sterilisations.
  • it met criticism and remained controversial for violating human rights,
  • It was unfair to poorer Chinese since the richer ones could afford to pay economic sanctions if they violated the policy.
  • China has been accused of enforcing reproductive limits as a tool for social control. The Uighur Muslim ethnic minority, for example, has been forced to have fewer children to restrict the growth of their population.
  • Due to the policy, while the birth rate fell, the sex ratio became skewed towards males. 
  • Experts have also blamed the policy for making China’s population age faster than other countries, impacting the country’s growth potential. 


Source: Times of India

Source: UN Report

Did relaxing the one-child policy help?

  • From 2016, the Chinese govt allowed two children per couple. 2020 census shows the c rate of population growth falling rapidly despite the 2016 relaxation.
  • The country’s fertility rate has now dropped to 1.3, far below the replacement level of 2.1 necessary for each generation to be fully replenished.
  • The United Nations expects China’s population to begin declining after 2030, but some experts say this could happen as early as in the next one or two years.
  • By 2025, India will replace China as the most populous country.

Many remain skeptical about the three-child policy?

  • Experts say relaxing limits on reproductive rights alone cannot go a long way in averting an unwanted demographic shift.
  • The main factors behind fewer children being born, they say, are rising costs of living, education and supporting ageing parents.
  •  country’s pervasive culture of long working hours is also to be blamed.
  • There has also been a cultural shift during the decades in which the one-child policy remained in force, with many couples believing that one child is enough, and some expressing no interest in having children.


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