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Renkou Yanjiu. 1987 Jan;(1):15-21.

[Social and economic factors affecting China fertility transition].

[Article in Chinese]



China's fertility rate, affected by various economic, cultural and social factors, is in a state of flux. In analyzing the major factors affecting the change, and in determining a fixed ratio for the degree of effectiveness of each factor, it is possible to improve birth policy in terms of predicting trends in fertility changes. Based on data gathered in 1981, the following observations were made: 1) A look at gross output value for industry and agriculture by geography shows that the more economically developed an area is, the lower is the fertility rate, and that the less economically developed an area is, the higher is the fertility rate. For example, Yunnan, with an average gross output value per person of 406.5 yuan, has a total fertility rate of 3.814, whereas Shanghai's average gross output value per person is 5566.4 yuan, and its total fertility rate is 1.316. 2) Figures comparing educational levels with total fertility rates show that cities with a greater number of women with a middle school education tend to have a lower fertility rate than cities with fewer such women. For example, Beijing's 516,000 middle school educated women have a total fertility rate of 1.589, compared to Anhui's 186,000 middle school educated women who have a total fertility rate of 2.799. Also, among college educated women, the fertility rate is 41.5/1000, the 1 child rate is 88.6%, and the multiple child rate is 1.2%, whereas those women with a primary school education have a fertility rate of 86.4/1000, a 1 child rate of 44.3%, and a multiple child rate of 26.7%. 3) As towns become urbanized, the fertility rate of those towns tend to decline. For example, Sichuan, with an Urbanization Index of 14.3 has total fertility rate of 2.650; Tianjin's Urbanization Index is 68.7, and its total fertility rate is 1.645. 4) A comparison of women engaged in physical labor to those in non-physical jobs shows that the former tend to have a higher fertility rate: women working at physical labor have a fertility rate of 86.7/1000, compared to a fertility rate of 65/1000 for those in non-physical jobs. 5) China's family planning programs advocating late marriage, late births and 1 child per couple in itself does not influence fertility rates, but taken with economic factors, it will have far reaching consequences. For example, cities with high gross output value tend to have a higher rate of 1 child per couple. 6) As the average age at marriage for women rose from 18 years in 1949 to 23 years in 1981, the rate of women having multiple children has declined in all age groups since 1964.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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