Population: 6,173,386,864 · China Population: 1,261,832,482
(July 2000 est.) · Population Growth Rate: 0.9% (2000est.)
· Age Structure:· 0-14 years: 25% (male 168,040,006;
female 152,826,953) 15-64 years: 68% (male 439,736,737; female 413,454,673)·
65 years and over: 7% (male 41,200,297; female 46,573,816) (2000 est.)
· China's overpopulation greatly affects not only its local
environment but has the potential to affect the global economy.
· China, which holds 1.3 billion of the world's total population,
is predicted to grow to 1.6 billion by 2030.
HOW AND WHY
CHINA HAS BECOME OVERPOPULATED SINCE 1950
· High birth rate of 1950's was a response to the state
philosophy "a large population gives a strong nation", therefore?
people encouraged to have as many children as possible.
· At same time, death rates decrease, due to improved food
supplies and medical care.
· Lacking controls, appropriate education and experience, the
improvement of people's living standards led to a rapid increase?in
· Between 1959 - 1961; "Great Leap Forward" -
"Industrial production had to be increase?d at all costs and
little attention paid to farming." - therefore a catastrophic
famine where 20 million died; infant mortality rates increase and
birth rates decrease.
· During 1960's; Cultural Revolution therefore attempts
to control population growth were thwarted.
· Every 3 years, China's population increased by 55 million.
· 1970's - State family planning programmes introduced;
therefore by 1975 average family size fell to 3 children.
· 1979 - Government, wishing to stop population growth altogether,
therefore "encourage a one child per family" policy so that
the total population by year 2000 would be 1200 million.
· 1987 - Government began to relax rigid policy - response
to outrage about cases of coercion & brutality.
· The latest attitude - still enforces the minimum age for
marriage and restricts families living in rural areas to one child.
Ä Second child is allowed if first is girl and providing there
is a 4-year gap between births.
ONE CHILD POLICY
AND ITS EFFECTS
· Inducements to having one child include; free education;
priority housing; pension; and family benefits.
· Benefits lost if 2nd child was born & fines of up to
15% of annual family income.
· Marriageable age - set at 22 for men and 20 for women, and
couples apply to state for permission to be married, and to have a
· Birth rate fell from 40 per 1000 in 1968; to 17 per 1000
by 1980 - but government policy was often resisted, especially in
· Abortions compulsory for second pregnancy.
· Frequent reports of coerced sterilizations and of female
infanticide where the first-born was a girl in hope of a later child
being a boy.
· State alarmed at emergence of generation of "little
Emperors" - spoilt single children who were greedy, bad-tempered
BETWEEN OVERPOPULATION, RESOURCES AND TECHNOLOGY
· Over the last 40 years, China's agriculture, cities,
energy supplies and forests have all come under increase stress because
the population has more than doubled.
· With increased consumption of resources, the need for fuel
has lead to the destruction of forests.
· The ban on logging cost many workers their jobs and the government
has not come up with a contingency plan to employ these workers.
· One of the biggest problems for China is the shortage of
land due to overpopulation.
- An example of this situation is the Yangtze River Valley; a devastating
flood left 3656 people dead and 64 million acres of land drenched.
The expanding population forced housing projects desperate for land
to deforest the areas in the Yangtze River Valley because the people
have nowhere else to go but the mountains and deserts for living space,
thus encouraging the erosion which magnified the effects of the flood.
· The crops required to feed the population had less land for
its growth as a result of the reforestation therefore could lead to
an economic problem for the nation as it will be forced to import
more crops to feed the population.
- An increase in demand could bring about a world increase in grain
- Attempts to genetically engineer crops to pick up the lag for the
ruined crops due to the lack of water, lack of land and harvests lost
due to floods, would create another problem - which is, the unemployment
for many workers as the technology to raise the new batch of crops
requires few labourers.
· Another problem caused by the lack of population control
is the severe lack of water in northern China. - 550 million people
do not have enough water on a day-to-day basis. - The Yellow River;
running dry every year and therefore? farmers rip off man-hole covers
in order to try and irrigate their dying crops.
- A dam is in construction - purpose, conserving water and providing
hydroelectric power - however this has further environmental consequences.
· China has a problem with its deficit of unpolluted water
- lack of land and water has called for an increase in demand for
China's farms to supply.
- And therefore to meet the demand the use of chemical fertilizers
and pesticides ruins the soil and pollutes the drinking water supply.
WHY AND WHAT
ARE THE PROBLEMS?
· China has to deal with air pollution, impact on global
warming and along with it ozone depletion.
- Coal supplies three quarters of China's energy.
- More people are able to afford cars instead of bicycles and therefore
China has to deal with the exhaust fumes.
- Air pollution levels are 7 times higher than the levels recommended
by the World Health Organization - therefore eventually affect quality
of life and life expectancy.
· China can only partially afford to pay, to refine the efficiency
of the technology which extracts energy from coal and oil, and China
has a lot of financial burdens to tackle - created by a growing population;
lack of land, water, clean up solutions for land, air and water pollution
and the need to enforce a number of political policies.