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China Popul Today. 1998 Dec;15(5-6):26, 14.

Population growth and sustainable development in China.



This article identifies the adverse impacts of population growth in China and offers suggestions for attaining sustainable development. Although China has below replacement level fertility, population will continue to increase. Chinese demographers project that the total fertility rate will average 2.1 each year until 2010, 2.1 until 2050, or 1.88 until 2010 and 1.6 during 2010-2050 under high, medium, and low variants, respectively. Total population would number 1.69 billion, 1.50 billion, or 1.46 billion under various projections, respectively, by 2050. Continued growth is expected to seriously slow economic development, to hinder improvements in the quality of and full use of human resources, to depress increases in per-capita economic development levels, and to impact on reasonable use of resources and environmental protection. The averting of 5 million births would save 35.5 billion yuan. Population growth has reduced the per-capita share of cultivated land from 0.19 to 0.08 hectares during 1952-95. There are about 150-190 million surplus rural laborers. Registered unemployment in cities was 3.1% in 1997. 11.5 million were laid-off workers. The working-age population will exceed 900 million during 2007-26. China's gross national product (GNP) was the 8th highest in the world in 1990, but its per-capita GNP was in 100th place. China's abundant natural resources are seriously reduced when population is considered. Environmental damage is already evident. Population growth needs to be controlled through family planning, an old-age social security program, and long-term population policies. Society needs healthier births and childbearing and better educated children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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