Why China Ended its One-Child Policy

Why China Ended its One-Child Policy


This video is sponsored by Dashlane. Conveniently store your passwords and get
10% off premium when you sign up with the link in the description. China is huge. The kind of huge that’s hard to wrap your
head around. Beginning in the 1950’s, its population
exploded, from an already respectable 500 million to almost three times that today. which makes it bigger than all of North America,
Australia, and Europe combined. Its consistent economic growth has made it
one of the world’s great powers, with enough military might to claim the strategically
important South China Sea, and enough influence to begin the most ambitious
infrastructure project in history. A $1 trillion dollar network of ports, pipelines,
and railroads across 65 countries. But none of this was inevitable. While China rapidly and forcefully industrialized,
it faced massive famine and housing shortages. Its economy needed time to develop, and the
world deeply feared overpopulation. China’s response was the famous One Child
Policy, which limited ethnic Chinese families to a single child, with a few exceptions. To enforce the law, women were forcefully
sterilized and fined for having too many children. The problem is: it worked. Or, something did. Historians doubt it prevented all 400 million
births claimed by the government, But China’s Total Fertility Rate, the average number of
children a woman will have in her lifetime, has fallen all the way to 1.6, well below the 2.1 needed to maintain its
size. There simply aren’t enough children, and
in a few short years, China will begin to shrink. The One Child Policy was repealed in 2015,
but it won’t make a significant difference, because it only ever sped-up the unavoidable:
As nations develop, they choose to have drastically fewer children. China’s problem isn’t unique, about half
the world lives in a country that is or soon will be in the same position, but it is uniquely
big, and the timing, uniquely bad. The story of China in the 21st century is
just as much about demographics as it is GDP, military power, the rule of Xi Jinping, all
of which will be seriously tested by the coming demographic crisis. To understand why it’s such a threat, and
whether something can be done, we need to look a little more closely. As individuals, humans are unpredictable. We don’t know what someone will do, or say,
or buy, because they don’t know. Impulse guides your decision to add guacamole
just as it does what college you attend. But, countries don’t care about individuals,
they care about groups. And the beauty of demography is that groups
are predictable. Very. Of course, nothing is certain, theories compete
and estimates vary, but it’s much easier to guess how many 18-years-olds we’ll have
in 30 years and in general, what they’ll be doing than, say, the next three decades
of foreign policy or culture. No country has yet figured out how to manufacture
18 year olds, not even China, and that means population today is a good peek at population
tomorrow. When this information is combined with geopolitics
or economics, it goes from mildly interesting to downright powerful. Here’s what we know about China: Each of these lines is one of its age groups,
with babies at the bottom, and elderly at the top. First, are consumers. From 18 to 45, we know people are spending
– they’re going to school, taking out loans, saving… not so much. and despite what this group says about millennials,
they’re very important, because consumer spending is one of the biggest contributors
to economic growth. Next, are the money makers. These people have paid off their debt, now
they’re saving for retirement. And even though they’re a smaller share
of the population, they generate most of its income. In the U.S., for example, they alone pay half
of all income tax. That makes them, a government’s best friend. Finally, at age 65, people are done working,
done saving, and, largely, done spending. What’s special about this group, is how
quickly and how dramatically it begins: In a single day, a retiree often goes from
contributing the highest taxes of their lifetime, to almost nothing, as they slowly collect
pensions and social security. For right now, let’s ignore the total number
of people. China could be bigger like this, or smaller
like this, What’s important is the balance between
these different groups, and that’s why this graphic is so useful. It’s called a Population Pyramid, because,
for most of history, it has been. A constant stream of babies at the bottom,
and a small number of deaths with each subsequent year. A good example is Niger, where the average
woman has 6.5 children. Mortality is very high, making the average
age only 15. But much of the world no longer looks like
a pyramid. In China, it’s turning upside down. As you can see, there are two big bulges in
its population, here and here. The first is currently in its peak spending
years. The second, right in the prime of its high-earning,
high-tax-contributing years. It’s no wonder China is seeing massive economic
growth. But that’s what makes a demographic crisis
such an ugly one: it happens verrryyyy slowly, and then, all at once. Remember, this huge groups of workers will
soon, and quite suddenly retire, as they start waiting for the checks to arrive. But the group responsible for writing those
checks, or at least, funding them, is getting smaller and smaller. The problem isn’t just financial, A single
child must now care for two parents and four grandparents. The United Nations expects China’s Dependency
Ratio, the number of non-working compared to working-age people, to increase at roughly
the same rate as Japan’s, whose population began shrinking in 2011, and now sells more
adult diapers than infant ones. By 2050, China may have more retirees than
all of Germany, Japan, France, and Britain. Worse, the One Child Policy, combined with
a cultural preference for males, has created a massive gender imbalance. As a result, it’s likely that by 2030, one-fourth
of Chinese men in their late 30’s will have never married. At a minimum, an abundance of forgotten young
men will cause some social anxiety. Or possibly, as some experts suggest, serious
conflict. It sounds a lot like the plot of a movie. Perhaps, “No Country for Young Men” Of course, China is aware of the problem,
But it’s fighting an inevitable demographic transition. In the beginning, For China, the early 20th
century, children are abundant. Because: you can only expect a few to survive,
you don’t have the education or tools for family planning, and because the best way
to grow tomatoes is to first grow children. Seriously. For any sleep-deprived parents watching, this
will be a shock, but giving birth was once the ultimate productivity hack. Before there were tractors, there were children. And then, people stop dying. It really only takes a few improvements to
healthcare for rapid reductions in mortality. And that’s how the world grew from 1.6 to
6.1 billion people in one century, That short window where fewer people are dying,
but everyone’s still having children. But it is just a window, after mortality drops,
fertility is right behind it. As industrialization brings rural workers
to find jobs in the city, Children become less a utility and more a liability – the
kind that screams, and cries, and generates student loan debt. As the saying goes: the best contraceptive
is economic development. The fact that countries like China, the U.S.,
Italy, and Germany, have this problem, is an otherwise good sign. Dangerously low fertility is actually a side-effect
of many good things: increased education, opportunities for women, and healthcare. It’s a no-kidding first-world problem. There are many ways to offset the damage,
you can increase productivity, taxes, immigration and/or fertility, But it’s hard to find a solution that doesn’t
come with its own set of problems. Many countries, for example, now offer incentives
for having children. One of the most generous is Sweden, where
couples have the right to 480 days of paid maternity leave PER child. The downside? Employers are more hesitant to hire young
women, who are far more likely to take those days off. And it doesn’t help that, even adjusted
for inflation, the cost of raising a child has risen for decades. Babies just can’t compete with dogs. China has already gone from issuing fines
for second children to issuing checks, but people just don’t seem to want them. This paper predicts the new two-child policy
will only increase China’s population from 1.4 to 1.45 billion in 2029. Because a person’s ideal family size is
largely determined by their own, two generations of Chinese now see one child as the norm. Plus, young people are pressured to work longer
and harder to keep up with the rising taxes needed to support the older population. None of this means China can’t come up with
a solution, In fact, it has a few things going for it: As people move to the city, they’ll become
bigger contributors to the economy, And today’s young workers are far better
educated than those they’re replacing – 11 years of schooling compared to just 6. There’s also the bigger trend towards an
automation-based economy which doesn’t rely on a such a large number of workers. But that too, has the potential for chaos. And even if it does manage to increase fertility,
remember that demographic changes are slow. Children born today won’t start contributing
for at least 18 years. Whatever the outcome, it’ll define China’s
role in the 21st century. The One-Child Policy will test China’s national
security… just as your One-Password Policy could threaten your security. I know, I know, it’s easy to use the same
password everywhere, But there’s just no need to choose between
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and to you for listening.

100 thoughts on “Why China Ended its One-Child Policy

  1. China is a big communist country and will pretend its a gobal influence with their cheap ass plastic that breaks in a few days

  2. This is happening in the USA too, to maintain a population you needs 2.1 kid per couple. Were at 1.9 and some say were going to continue to drop because the cost of living. I have three adult kids (age 24 to 18) and two of my kids do not want children, while my son has one child and wants to stop at just the one because of cost. I've also talked to a few of my kid's friends and about half do not want a family due to the costs and having to work so much to survive.

  3. Too many people are being brought into this world, and the jobs aren't growing along with the population growth. Because of this, I feel the US unemployment rate may hit as high as 15% 20 years from now.

  4. I heard of a story of how a young girl was born in the one child policy was adopted into America but later on was told she must make a choice to go back. Seeing there was more boys then girls overpopulated they need more women to help to redo the population ratio scale. They had promised her a good family and living if she agree as long as she bear many children of Chinese blood. It scared her so much she move to the city where they can’t look for her. Is this a true story?

  5. And now the Chinese government "encourages", if not forces, its citizens to have two children. In this sense, one-child policy has NOT been ended yet because you can just think of it turning into a two-children policy. Though different in numbers, these policies share the same spirit and you will still get fined or
    aborted if you are having your third baby. Not to mention the fact that you will get no essential support from the government either, which you might think you can rely on when raising your kids. The logic is simple. As a Chinese living in mainland China, it's your duty to give birth to the next generation that the government can exploit in the future and it's not the government's business to take care of your own kids raising. Might sound crazy, but I am just telling the truth.

  6. I am a female born in China. “It worked*!” Now even 1 child policy has been lifted, there won’t be more children. Economic development and gender equality are the reasons. Chinese women realized that they can live independently and not being influenced by men. Then why keep having babies? Especially the hospitals are few and bills are expensive.

  7. There are 1.5 billion Chinese and they are pushing outwards into every other nation.

    There is no crisis, they need to reduce their population to 400 million and stabilize there.

  8. It’s a governments job to make sure they can fund the pensions in the future instead of spending wastefully. Governments should invest in the populations future. Plus AI is going to take over a lot of jobs so we should see the overall quality of life of a smaller population, increase.

  9. China’s food insecurity problem now is only to get worse. A steadily shrinking population might be wise in light of how climate change and desertification will on make their food production more iffy. When time’s get tough, their overseas holdings of farm land will vaporize when countries reappropriate them.

  10. Hello i love this video and this is just to give sone facts
    1. I was born in 2006 china
    2. I am cis female
    3. I have a brother who is born in 2008
    4. We both have the same parents by blood
    5. We were both born in china
    My mum has Chinese passport and my dad has Taiwan passport
    When i was born my parents signed me up for a Taiwan passport
    And i have a Taiwan passport and my bother has a Chinese one

  11. You can’t really talk negatively about one child policy when it was your people’s ignorance and toxic masculinity that created all those abortions. If there’s a ONE CHILD ONLY policy and you already have ONE CHILD, wtf are you doing having unprotected sex?

  12. With China's population of almost 2 billion people they should not have to worry about this problem. With people living longer and working longer the governments taxes and money issue should be minor. This will be a problem in nations that don't have such a large population to fall back on. For it will get to a point where the money going out will be a lot less than the money coming in to support the country.

  13. I mean… we’re kinda screwed in the US too. When you have crushing student debt and everything is so expensive it’s no wonder young people are choosing not to procreate. How can you bring another being into the world when you’re struggling to get your life started and prosper yourself first? I’m 35, have a masters degree, and a good paying job. Student debt though… Jesus! I can’t fathom buying a decent house $200k and adding even more debt. Somethings really off with the system in our society where getting an education, a career and paying taxes yields so little. It almost feels like it’s a punishment the more responsible you are the less you get. I’m down for a dual income household, but a kid? At this point I’m probably gonna be one of those people who choose to not have even one cause they can’t afford it and by afford it I mean giving my child the opportunity for college, having my own house, not being in huge debt and burdening my child…you know taking proper care of it…probably not gonna happen. I want my kid to be able to go to college if they want.. if a good public university is 100k for 4 years what’s it gonna be 18 years from now? Half a million dollars? Everyone’s gonna have to be a doctor to make a degree worth getting… somethings gotta give, this is just not sustainable…. or I can just be irresponsible, stop worrying, pop out a kid and hope they don’t want to go to college lol 🤔🤷🏻‍♀️ 😟

  14. The country of Georgia has boosted its birth rate – and without encouraging illegitimate births. The solution? Religion.

  15. China wants to lower its population, but this time it is not through brutal oppression as under previous leaders, but rather under peaceful terms. More resources for the people to share.

  16. You argument is flawed, the old people will still be fed as a farmer today produces TEN THOUSAND times more than a farmer did in 1800. Same with almost every job as it gets more and more automated. There is no need to reproduce to sustain economic growth, perhaps in a future utopia there are once again much less people on the planet all living well from crade to grave.

    Most countries in eurasia and the americas has had far below replacement rates, and in europe due to plagues, and in europe that freed the serfs and the standard of living rose tremendously.

  17. To all the Americans, and British and other first world countries wishing you didn’t have siblings be glad you weren’t born in China. Just sayin’

  18. The could have just not have a child policy? Welp it's already done can change it now, the population was going to decline anyways so instulling the population policy has created this problem now

  19. A lower population anywhere is no doubt a good thing for the environment. Contraception and doing away the mindset that having a boy is a must, could have been done better. So sorry for those who were killed or abandoned. I was watching a video about all the vacant homes in China and how parents save up to buy a second, even a third home for their children. Meaning the Chinese have money. So why not have high compulsory superannuation which will take pressure off pension and let the children learn responsibility to earn and purchase property for themselves? Also, with less offsprings, there will be no splitting of the inheritance so the young can look after their old and grow old comfortably themselves. Perhaps make China a multicultural friendly place so more people would move there and contribute to taxes? Property prices are too high where I'm from and we got plenty single ladies.

  20. Asian children are very expensive due to the way education works here. Testing starts getting very important after elementary school. In some places you need to take tests to get into middle schools. If you want a good future, you need to get into a good middle school.

    How to get your child into a good middle school? They have to study well. How do you get them to study? Cram classes. And how do you get them into cram classes? Money.

    Parents spend thousands of dollars a year just to send their children to cram classes. Classes for math, science, english, geography, all of it. Young people have so much stress on their shoulders but, as my dad said, “if you dont study hard now, your chance of getting a good future lowers.”

    In conclusion, children are expensive. Oh any also college, thats expensive too.

  21. I don't understand why it's a bad thing that populations will get smaller. There is already an abundance of humans. Yes, younger generations will have to take care of more people, however the amount of human waste will decrease drastically on the whole world and it will be better for other species to thrive. I don't believe that humankind will dwindle to the point that we cannot return. But with less humans on the Earth we won't need as much land or resources so that we can try to keep our Earth healthy and combat global warming better.

  22. "One Child Policy"? more like "One Son Policy" or the "Robot Girls policy" hehehe this is why I want to study engineering so I can build lots of female robots to balance out the male population and give some female robots to those men in Qatar and UAE

  23. As a parents, I have to say. More kids is not mean good, raise them need time and effort, to raise 10 kids without proper education it is better to just have one that educated well. Quantity vs quality, prefer high quality life towards self/family and future is the goal

  24. People need to be careful when they make comments like, 'people shouldn't have kids' in the name of saving the planet. China had government officials literally going into people's homes and doing forced sterilization, forced abortions, and child kidnappings. All for 'the greater good' of the country. If you think child genocide if for 'the greater God's, then you have problems.

  25. "The best contraceptive is economic development"
    I understand you mentioned it in another video, but Israel has basically debunked that. Also, it didn't need incentives to have children in order to accomplish that.

  26. Simple. You dump too many girl children down wells or sell too many girls to rich white Americans and who are you gonna get your favored boys to marry?
    But then anything that fucks up China is good news for the Western world anyway, so….

  27. Why would people have kids anyway? The planet is dying, AI will replace most human jobs, and the cost of everything is going up while wages are stagnant.

  28. I have a older brother and sister, we were all born in China. But there was that same rule. So I'm pretty happy that I'm basically Canadian now C:

  29. I Dunno Bout Ya'll, but I Most Certainly Love Dogs More than Babies! 💯💗🐕💖💯 🙄 🤔💔👶💥💢😐

  30. so what you're telling me is that all these other countries have a population declining at the same rate as China and they have forced abortions and kidnap children?

  31. 6:28 cultural preference for men because men used to be the bread makers I believe. Correct me if I am wrong.
    Plus I loved the sponsor part

  32. It will be no wonder if Chinese men will either be homosexuals😂 or just leaving China to find women in other countries (which most like to happened).

  33. Girls the total fall in female births. Due to one child laws inhuman enforcement and their old old views of girl child to boy childs.

    Now we have our own politicians pushing one child, no child, to even <lol> eat children dogma.

  34. The problem is that the increased wealth created from economic development is unevenly distributed. A lot of that wealth is concentrated in a few hands, leaving the vast majority dependent upon them to make a living. That together with the profit motive and climate change, is going to create social problems everywhere in the developed world. This model of capitalism is unsustainable, and will cause social and political conflicts in countries so affected. Human beings need to start looking beyond capitalism and possibly models created as a reaction to it, for new solutions to the distribution of resources.

  35. It is not true that Chinese kill off babies.People were just fined because they had more than one child.Only a few extreme people abandoned their children.WE DO NOT KILL!!!

  36. “Babies just can’t compete with dogs”… OF COURSE they can’t ! You can cuddle a dog and the dog will actually like it but whatever you try to do to amuse a baby it starts screaming !

  37. We’ll Ukraine has a lack of men so it seems like this two country should help each other but at least Ukraine is due to wars mostly instead of Stupidity

  38. One-Child Policy help china more and more stronger,cause only one child,he can get a well education,by their parent

  39. You may hate me for this but legalizing force procreation and illegalizing abortion and sterilization would fix the problem and by force procreation yes i mean the R word

    And forcing YouTube to have vids of it would cause global increase in babies

  40. For me, the problem has always been government intervention. Most governments have successfully destroyed the family. If the family unit had remained strong as in the past, it would have solved some of the problems in life since we cannot solve anything 100%. In the past, families stayed together and helped one another. Parents took care of the children and children helped out at home and also financially. Family businesses and family trades were normal. Children took care of aging parents and grandparents helped take care of grandchildren. It used to be that way. However, with government intervention, abortion, divorce, and welfare to the undeserving increased. So taxes also increased to fund government programs and the salaries/benefits/pensions of government workers and officials. More and more people no longer see the family as an institution that can help them since they now rely more and more on the government. Even the SS was a government ponzi scheme.

  41. Considering with deforestation, overpopulation, extinction of animals, etc… China one child policy was a great way to go! China knows what they were doing and more countries should take notes form this (looking at you USA, Mexico, and India).

  42. The Only thing wrong with this vid, is not considering teenagers nowadays making A LOT of money on Youtube and such xD

  43. China has exactly one aircraft carrier
    They are no great international military power, unless they are picking on much smaller nations

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