Present situation and prospects of China's population
Population Research 6(2): 33-40
ISSN/ISBN: 1002-6576 PMID: 12316068 Accession: 047055423
For a very long time China has been the most populous country in the world. Throughout the last 15-16 years China has achieved great success in checking the excessively rapid growth of its population. However, due to historical reasons as well as current changes, China is still facing a serious situation. As a result of historical evolution, a great number of contradictions exist in China between population on the 1 hand and arable land, food, natural resources, the environment, employment, education, and support of the aged on the other hand. Per capita arable land is now only about .1 hectare. Restricted by the area of arable land, the food supply in China has always been a source of tension. People are reclaiming land on hills and from lakes in ways that are not good for the environment. With rapid population growth, large numbers of young people are reaching working age every year. The ultimate goal of modernization is to promote the well-being of the people. Although the achievements of economic development have been remarkable, the level of goods per person remains low. This has made people realize that population growth must be controlled. The main causes of the rapid fertility decline are 1) socioeconomic development, 2) state guidance, and 3) a strong government policy. Beginning in 1979 in China, the focal point of work has been shifted to economic construction. China's strategic goal of population control is to attain the stationary state through rapid fertility decline. Prospects for the 21st century include 1) an aging population, 2) a more abundant labor force, 3) the further development of cultural and educational undertakings, 4) rapid urbanization, and 5) environmental pollution and resource shortages.