Overpopulation in China
China and overpopulation are two words that have become synonymous over the years. Overpopulation in China has become a global issue as China is the most populous country in the world and its contribution to the international community is extremely significant. However it doesn’t necessarily mean that a country with a high population is an overpopulated country. To clarify the meaning of overpopulation, here is a little description. Overpopulation in a country occurs when the number of people in an area is far greater than the country’s available resources (China Studies). The People’s Republic of China has had this problem for many years and still the government hasn’t come up with an effective solution. The Chinese government has to quickly alter its old population controlling policies because it is disturbing the country’s social and economic life, and if it continues, China could face a huge crisis in the future.
China’s population started to increase dramatically after World War II. In 1949, Mao encouraged Chinese families to have as many children as possible. This is because the government thought the population increase would bring money to the country and help China produce more food, build a better army, develop water control, and establish communication systems (Chinese Population). For the next ten years China’s population increased in millions every year. In 1949 the population was around 118 million, which increased to 540 million in 1960’s. In 1970 the population increased again by 290 million, making it a massive increase of 712 million in just 20 years (Issue of Overpopulation).
The population increase largely depends on the fertility of a country. In the past 30 years China’s fertility trend changed many times, making a great impact on the population increase. The fertility trend changed from about six children per woman to two children per woman. This was a result of policies introduced by the government under “unfavorable social, economic, and demographic conditions” (The Overpopulation Issue). China also joined some of the western countries like U.S.A into promoting this program. Now let’s look at the fertility trends introduced in China since 1949 (Chinese Economics).
China’s fertility transition can be distributed into six main steps. The first step was called the Initial High Fertility period, which took place from 1949 to 1957. In this period China’s fertility was high and the death rate declined making a total fertility of 6.0 children per woman. The next period, also known as Great Leap Forward, occurred from 1958 to 1961. This period consisted of policy errors by the government and the fertility decreased from 6.0 to 3.3 making an increase in death rate. The period of Post-Famine Recovery happened from 1962 to 1979. (China) This was the period in which China reached its peak and the fertility increased from 3.3 to 7.4. The fourth period of Rapid Fertility Decline occurred from 1971 to 1979 and in this period the fertility decreased from 7.4 to 2.8. From 1980 to 1989, it was the Stagnation period, the one-child policy was introduced and the fertility decreased to 2.5. The last fertility period or Below-Replacement Fertility period which started in 1990 saw the fertility drop to 2.1 children per woman. We can infer from these statistics that although China’s birth rate kept increasing and decreasing the population continued to grow steadily (China).
Population distribution of China is very unique in its style; if we look at it closely then we can figure out which areas of the country are contributing the most to the increasing population. China’s population density of 126 people per square kilometer is very high (Overpopulation). However we have to understand that China is not divided into equal parts; there aren’t the same number of people living in a particular area. Some regions consist of mountains, some have farms, and some are metropolitan cities....
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