China: Growing Old Before It Grows Rich

The Communist Party has become a victim of its own policy success.

|May 29, 2018

By Phillip Orchard

The Chinese Communist Party may finally be getting out of the family planning business. Three years ago, the party scrapped its infamous one-child policy. Last week, Bloomberg reported that China’s State Council is mulling ending birth limits altogether. The damage to China’s demographic outlook done by tight population controls has been immense – and it may take several generations for the country to recover.

The Damage Done

When Deng Xiaoping’s government implemented the one-child policy in 1979, population control was all the rage across the globe. Amid booming population growth in the years following World War II, some demographers were warning that the human race was about to breed itself into extinction. Most famously, Stanford professor Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 best-seller “The Population Bomb” warned that hundreds of millions of people, mostly in the developing world, would starve in the 1970s alone. This, of course, turned out to be wil

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China: Growing Old Before It Grows Rich