China’s aging population has been brought about by its zero-growth population policies that have been in place since the 1970s.
The most well known aspect of these policies is the infamous “one-child policy” which mandates forced abortions and sterilizations.
In a recent FT article, Simon Rabinovitch, presented population data obtained from the Chinese health ministry:
Since 1971, doctors have performed 336m abortions and 196m sterilisations.
They have also inserted 403m intrauterine devices, often forced on women in China by local family planning officials.
The magnitude of these figures is truly staggering. By comparison, at present there are 315 million people living in the United States. Rabinovitch does not really tell where the data came from within the Chinese government, but these are pretty specific numbers that make sense. In short, we are talking about a maximum of 336 million Chinese who would be under the age of 42 – the peak working years.
China’s one-child policy has been the subject of a heated debate about its economic consequences as the population ages. Forced abortions and sterilisations have also been criticised by human rights campaigners such as Chen Guangcheng, the blind legal activist who sought refuge at the US embassy in Beijing last year.
China first introduced measures to limit the size of the population in 1971, encouraging couples to have fewer children. The one-child rule, with exceptions for ethnic minorities and some rural families, was implemented at the end of the decade.
See also LifeNews report