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Monday, June 25, 2007

China Flagrantly Overpopulates - Breathing Space Blog

From the BBC and the Xinhua news agency:
China's top family planning body has warned of a "population rebound" as couples flout one child policy rules. The widening wealth gap could lead to a rise in birth rates. Newly rich couples can afford to pay fines to have more than one child, while rural couples are marrying earlier.

China is keen to curb its population growth, and the controversial family planning policy, implemented in the late 1970s, is meant to limit urban couples to one child and rural families to two. But rising incomes mean that some newly rich couples in urban areas can easily afford to break the rules and pay the resulting fines. However, the number of rich people and celebrities having more than one child was on a rapid increase, and nearly 10% of people in this category had three children.

In the countryside, too, the rules are being flouted... because of the traditional preference for sons. Experts say this preference has led to the under-reporting of female births, as well as abortion of female fetuses and female infanticide. By the end of 2006, China's population stood at 1,314,480,000, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, with males accounting for 51.5% of the population.

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