Growth Population And It

’S Effects In The Later Twentieth Century In China Essay, Research Paper

From the 3.68 billion people that will be added to the world population between 1995 and 2050, Asia will contribute some 2 billion. This enormous increase is due to the already massive size of the population. Most of this growth will occur in the next three decades. Between 1995 and 2025 Asia’s population will grow by 1.35 billion – between 2025 and 2050 the increase is projected to be just 658 million. China is the world’s largest population, estimated to be around 1.24 billion in 1998. It grows at a rate of 1.3% per year or 44,100 people a day. There are now more people living in China than whole world 150 years ago. The population broke the billion mark in the 1982 census, the results of which provided the justification for the strict one-child policy which effectively curbed rapid population growth. In the 1990 census, China counted 1.133 billion people, over the next decades the world population will inevitably age. This is an unavoidable consequence of large birth cohorts during the 1950s and 1960s and the rapid fertility decline since the 1970s. In 2025 the “baby boomers” of the 1950s and 60s will be between 65 and 75 years of age. These large aging cohorts are followed by the relatively small “baby bust” generations of the worldwide fertility decline. In 1950 there were only 131 million people of age 65 and older; in 1995 their number had almost tripled and was estimated at 371 million. Between now and 2025 the number will more than double again; and by 2050 we will probably have more than 1.4 billion elderly The percentage of elderly increased from 5.2 in 1950 to 6.2 in 1995. By 2050 one out of ten people worldwide will be 65 years of age or more. While currently population aging is most serious in Europe and Japan, China will experience a dramatic increase in the proportion of elder people by the middle of the next century. This is largely due to the country’s success in family planning, which rapidly reduced the relative size of birth cohorts since the 1970s.The future number of people on the globe, evidently, is an important antropogenic factor of global change. However, even more important the changes that need to happen in order to help solve China’s growing population.

Part 2

Admittedly, China is already an aging society by international standard: the number of people aged 60 and over accounts for more than 10% of the total population; those aged 80 and over number 8 million and that number still grows by 5.4% annually. Additionally, the traditional ethics that prevailed in China for the past millenniums are eroding amidst rapid social transformations touched off by the market-driven reforms. It is no longer morally appealing, nor economically feasible, for children to support their elderly parents at home. Economists estimate, for example, that by 2050, two working people will have to support an elderly citizen. Reflecting the changing times, old people are increasingly willing to be on their own for care. A random survey conducted by reporters of Liaoning Daily, the largest newspaper in north China’s Liaoning Province, yielded some insights into how old folks in China today plan to take care of themselves. The survey showed that most senior citizens prefer self-care as opposed to home care — staying with children for care. Of the 30 people interviewed at random at one morning exercise session in June 1999, 77% were aged 70-79, 13% 60-69 and 10% over 80. In living choices, 70% live by themselves. Even among the nine spouseless, six (67%) live alone. Economically, 73% live on their own pensions, 17% on the pensions of their spouse, 5% on children and another 5% on relatives. In daily life, their spouse or themselves care 67%. For social life, though, there was greater diversity.

Page 3

Human resource is the key to socio-economic development. Currently, however, western China is being bogged down by a fast-growing population, an incompetent work force and an irrational population structure. To achieve sustainable development, the issue of population development and family planning must be addressed first. Beginning in late 1978 the Chinese leadership has been moving the economy from a sluggish Soviet-style centrally planned economy to a more market-oriented economy but still within a rigid political framework of Communist Party control. To this end the authorities have switched to a system of household responsibility in agriculture in place of the old collectivization, increased the authority of local officials and plant managers in industry, permitted a wide variety of small-scale enterprise in services and light manufacturing, and opened the economy to increased foreign trade and investment. The result has been a quadrupling of GDP since 1978. In 1999, with its 1.25 billion people put a GDP of just $3,800 per capita, China became the second largest economy in the world after the US. Our success or failure will have a direct bearing on the country’s economic and social security, the quality of people’s lives and the long-term development of China, and the president said. the current capacity of nursing homes falls far short of demand. Furthermore, those old people who need in-house help are often left helpless. A major reason for the underdevelopment of these facilities is a lack of funding and a low level of income. Thirty-three percent of the respondents in the survey said they could only afford a monthly fee of less than 300 RMB (US$40); 20% said they could afford 300-400 RMB; 13% between 400-500 RMB; and 33% 500-800 RMB. On the other hand, 37% of those surveyed said their monthly income is less than 300 RMB. Some had unemployed children. . This is evident in the fact that 366 (61.8%) of the country’s 592 officially designated impoverished counties, which are eligible for government funds for poverty alleviation, are located in west China in 1998. China’s per capita share of natural resources is far less than the world’s average. Several strategic resources such as land, forest and fresh water are in acutely short demand and unevenly distributed. Despite the continuous drop in China’s fertility level toward the replacement level, the country’s total population will keep growing until the 2030s. This will impose a huge burden on resources and environment in the coming three or four decades. Population growth remains one of the most serious issues China has to address in the 21st century. In order to release the pressure of population growth on resources and environment, a negative growth strategy must be adopted. Both the low- and medium-variant projections serve that purpose. Currently, there is an over-supply of labor in China. Demand for labor is declining, but the working-age population keeps increasing. With China’s entry into the WTO looming large this year and the world economy moving increasingly toward globalization, enterprises depend more and more on technology and productivity to increase their competitiveness. Therefore, it is the quality, rather than quantity, of the labor force that counts.

Of course, labor-intensive industries might be a solution for the surplus laborers. In the long term, however, only the negative growth strategy can possibly ease the pressure of population growth on employment after the mid-21st century. Therefore, fertility above the replacement level is unadvisable for the purpose of improving employment.

Page 4

The Governments attempts to find a solution to the increased population.

“Single children are the sun in the family, and the parents and grandparents simply the planets orbiting around them,” one Shanghai educator says.

But the prospect of a nation of overindulged children is only one of the complications that China’s policy of one child per family is causing. With its population already tipping the 1 billion mark, China’s modernization program is in danger of coming to a standstill as feeding, clothing, and housing the nation eat up more and more of the country’s resources.

If the Chinese government’s goal of containing the population within the 1.2 billion mark until the end of the century is to be achieved, China’s annual population increase has to be maintained at under 1 percent until the year 2000.

But faced with the prospect of 78 million newlyweds in the next three years, and their potential offspring, the Chinese government has been forced to take increasingly unpopular measures to ensure the widespread practice of its one-child-per-couple policy. (The policy is not expected to become law until the end of this year.)

Family planning has been seriously promoted only since 1971, after the nation’s population jumped by 122 million in the early years of the Cultural Revolution. Under the marriage law passed in 1980, all couples are required to practice some form of contraception.

First introduced about three years ago, the national policy called on urban dwellers and government employees to have only one child. This has been enforced with special privileges and bonuses for single-child families and sanctions against those couples who overstep the limit. Rural dwellers have been “strongly encouraged” to have one child, but two have been accepted in many areas.

But recent adoption of the “job responsibility system,” which raises opportunities for sideline, privately owned industries in rural areas, has meant that a household can increase its income if the family has many children and puts them to work. This new policy thus strengthens the traditional preference both for large families and for sons. The upsurge in larger families has meant that some provinces are now forcing women who become pregnant for a second time to have


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