One-child policy

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Government sign in Tang Shan:
"For a prosperous, powerful nation and a happy family, please use birth planning."

The one-child policy (or family planning policy) is a policy introduced in the People's Republic of China in the year 1979. After the Second World War, the Chinese population grew quickly. The policy was introduced to control population growth and says that Chinese families should only have one child. There are several exceptions to this rule.

If a couple wants to have more than one child, they must pay money to the government. In some places in China, couples were able to get a permit so they would not have to pay the fee. Because most families would not be able to afford the fee, women were often forced to have an abortion.[1]There were severe punishments for those who had a second child. However, if the first child were to be a female, the couple to try for a second child, in hopes for a male child.


Since it was started in 1979, the policy has prevented 400 million births from happening.[2] About 36% of the Chinese population is affected by the rule.[3] The policy does not apply in some areas, such as Hong Kong, Macau or Tibet.

In 2015, the one-child policy was removed, and instead allowed couples to have two children for the first time in thirty years.

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