China – population growth?

An interesting article on the BBC today on warnings given by China’s family planning body that there could be population growth as the one child policy rules are being flouted. Those of you in Year 11 and the VI form will have been studying the one child policy which came into force in 1970 over fears of rapid growth leading to overpopulation. Despite being a controversial policy, coming under fire from human right’s group and being criticsed for some of its methods of enforcement, the policy has been successful in reducing population growth. This article from the BBC suggests that due to a widening welath gap, rich couples are breaking the one child rule, as they are able to afford the fines imposed as a result. Likewise in rural areas, the age of marriage rules (22 for men and 20 for women) are being ignored in some areas which is attributed to the traditional preference for sons. This preference for sons has already lead to concerns of an increasing “batchelor society” with a shortage of women.

Japan’s Ageing Population

This is an issue that Year 11 and 12 students will have been looking at in preparation for the forthcoming GCSE and AS exam’s. Japan’s slow population growth has been a cause for concern for a number of years, with concerns that a reduced workforce resulting from fewer young people will mean that Japan will be in a position where they find it will struggle to support the elderly. In 2000, one in six people in Japan were over the age of 65. This excellent audio slideshow considering the issues surrounding Japan’s rapidly ageing society was published on the web by the guardian today and is well worth looking at / listening to (particularly Year 11 and Year 12 students!)

See this written article “Japan’s age-old problem” for further reading.