fifty years ago July 15, 1971 Archives

From the Archives (July 15, 1971): Family planning in China(From an Editorial)

When the Chinese communists first came to power, they argued that China as a socialist State had no need to worry about the population problem. But a more sober attitude has prevailed since the collapse of the “great leap forward” in 1958 and to-day the two-child family is advocated, with the right age for marriage fixed at 25 for women and 28 for men. It this ideal is realised, a stable population would result. China-watchers based in Hongkong have estimated China’s population at 830 millions in 1970 and the crude birth and death figures at 43 and 21 per thousand, yielding a growth rate of 2.2 per cent. Even this would mean that China would reach the billion mark by 1980 and 1.6 billion by the end of the century. Mr. Edgar Snow, the American writer and friend of Mao Tsetung, has reported after another visit to China recently that the present population is somewhere between 750 and 800 millions and that the rate of growth is about 2 per cent. The Chinese planners hope to cut the rate to one per cent, though even this would yield a billion-strong population by 2000 A.D.

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