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China's one child policy and birth rate: China Baby Boomer problem.

BY: Swati | Category: Education | Post Date: 2009-06-24
 



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What is the connection between birth rate and Baby Boomers:
"Seniors" or "Elderly" terms are generally used for people 65 or older. There are many countries who had high birth rates in past and followed by decades of a substantial lower birth rates. This includes countries like China, USA, Japan and many more. Those years when birth rates are quite high are often referred to as 'Baby Boom' years and people of that generation are known as 'Baby Boomers'. When these individuals ( a.k.a. Baby Boomers) start to hit retirement age, it suddenly creates a high percentage of population that starts to grow old.


Problem with a large aging population:
Since Baby boomers or elderly people not only require greater attention, health care, help and more resources, they also start gradually withdrawing their money from their bank accounts & stock market to fund their retirement. These circumstances become worse with a large aging population. It obviously creates a big negative impact on that country's economy.

China's one child policy to reduce birth rate:
One child policy was adopted in China in 1979 when it had about one-fourth of entire world population and it was much poorer. Since majority of the population was below 30 years, China quickly saw that it's population will grow by a lot if no stringent action was taken, so they implemented one child policy. Although one-child policy is applicable mainly to government employees and urban residents; other rural Chinese are allowed to have two kids but they should have a five year gap between their children. There are all sort of other restrictions, like people who can have a second child can only do so if the first child is a girl (as Chinese have a traditional preference for boys). This has obviously led to a significant slowdown of birth rates in China. It is estimated that in year 2000 the population of China was about 1.27 billion. The average fertility rate in 2005 was about 1.3 in urban areas and 2.0 in rural areas. Increased restrictions on birth rates and preference for baby boys has also led to a large imbalance in sex-ratio. There are about 1.11 male(s)/female under 15 years. This will obviously lead to more crime aainst women as frustrated Chinese males will face trouble finding a wife. Anyway, lets get back to our topic of baby boomers in China.

China will likely face a huge Baby Boomer problem in future.
The elderly population of China is expected to rise to more than 15 percent by 2025 and to about 30 percent by 2050 (It is about 7.5 percent now). Although in most Asian countries children take care of their parents and grandparents, Chinese youth will find it much harder to support so many elders. Theoretically, it is possible that one Chinese youth will have to support himself and his two parents and possibly up to four grand parents. This is often referred as "4:2:1" phenomenon.

Chinese leaders face a ticking "Time-Bomb", which can be much greater than being faced by Baby Boomer generation of USA, Japan and Russia. Due to one child policy in the last 30 years, Chinese have suppresses at least 25 to 30 million births, which has certainly helped them now, but this lower birth rate will certainly hit them in future. Even if China relaxes rules, it is not possible that people will suddenly start going for 2 or 3 children because several recent surveys indicate that many Chinese are now willing to just have 1-2 children only even if there was no one-child rule. The overall mentality of society has changed. Additionally with lower percentage of girls than boys there will be lower births anyway in future.

According to Richard Jackson (director of the Global Aging Initiative, source AP.org): Without a universal pension system to cover all elderly, millions of older Chinese could fall into poverty, creating social and political unrest and shock waves that could ripple through the global economy given the country's economic heft.

What is the solution:
Sincerely, I have no idea. Personally, I think is that Chinese government should immediately end the one child policy so that their birth rates are increased, at least the the future pain of Baby Booner generation in China will be eased to a certain degree.

Article Source: http://www.saching.com



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