👪 Challenges 😫
As of 2020, the current Chinese 🇨🇳 population is roughly 1.4 billion ‼️ That's about 19% of the world's population❗ This doesn't even include 华人 ((huárén) overseas 🌊 Chinese)! There is an estimated 50 million overseas 🌊 Chinese, with the majority coming from the Han ethnic group. However, the estimated growth rate 📈 is roughly about only 0.59% a year.
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The rapid expansion of the Chinese population back in the early 20th century led to the government stepping in to limit children. In under 30 years, from 1949 to 1979, the population grew from about 540 million to 969 million ‼️
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
1️⃣ 🧒 一孩政策 (yī hái zhèngcè (The One-Child Policy)) was implemented in the 1970s. It was required that for urban families 🏡, there could only be 1️⃣ child per family 👪 Because of this, female infanticide was extremely common, because it was thought that women couldn't continue the family by passing on the family name and so boys were favored. This led to a great disproportionate ratio ➗ of men to women for that generation. Another effect is the idea 💡 that the one child lifestyle led to a generation where traditional culture faded quicker than ever before.
Although named the One 1️⃣ Child 🧒 Policy, in many regions outside of cities 🏙️, families were allowed to have 2️⃣ children if the first child was a daughter 👧 Ethnic minorities also got a couple exceptions. This was because the policy was meant to reduce the population growth 📉, not workers. Rural families wanted boys 👦 so that they could do the physically laboring work, and considered girls 👧 to not be able to do as much, therefore allowing that exception. In fact, there were actually about a minimum of 22 ways 🛤️ where citizens could be allowed to have a 2nd baby (meeting ✅ the conditions, of course). Even with that rule, there was an estimated 600 million births prevented since the policy went into affect in 1979.
Image Courtesy of Pikist
The issue now is that people 👫 don't wish to raise more than one child 🧒. This is mostly because the costs to raise a child from birth 👶 to adulthood 🧑 are too much. Around 2050, about a third of the population in China 🇨🇳 will be over 65 years old 👴, which makes the population disproportionate. Along with the issue of the lack of young people 👨 to look after the previous generations (as in filial piety), there will be less people in the workforce 👩💼, potentially causing economic 📉 issues.
"Raising" a child 🧒 mostly refers to "how to make that child 🧒 successful." It isn't about being able to feed 🍲 a child, but investing in a child 🧒 by having them taking multiple classes 🏫 from a young age such as instrument lessons 🎹🎻, specialized school 🎒 learning 📚, etc. City 🏙️ children 🧒 are usually always fully booked 📔 with weekend classes. In addition, there are entrance exams for middle school, high school, and college. A lot of effort is placed on having children take specialized classes for these exams. In a sense, education is all a competition.
Along with that, there is a "requirement" that men 👨 have to own a home 🏠 in order to get married. If they don't own a house 🏠, they literally cannot get married. This responsibility usually will fall upon the parents 👫 to provide their son with an additional house 🏡
Image Courtesy of School of Open - P2PU
As seen earlier, historically, having children 🧒 is a main purpose for marriage 🤵👰 in China . There is constant pressure 🥴 for couples 💑 to get married 🤵, and then to have children 👨👩👦 immediately after. If couples don't have children 👨👩👦, they are considered to have "incomplete lives" and are considered "unfilial."
Even in the present as more and more couples 👫 who choose not to have children, there is still extreme pressure to continue the family tree 🌲 As a result, some couples 💑 decide to have children 👨👩👦 but let them be raised by the grandparents 👵 👴 as a way to satisfy the cultural pressure.
Couples 👫 who choose not to have children 🧒 are living what is known as the "DINK" lifestyle. That stands for Double Income x2️⃣💰, No Kids 🚫👨👩👧👦, representing a couple 💑 that are childfree with both partners earning an income 💲 but choosing not to invest in kids by having children 🧒.
Strive for Five Vocab! 🔑🔑
一孩政策（yī hái zhèngcè)—The One-Child Policy
补习班（bǔxí bān)—Cram School (Test-prep)
培训班（péixùn bān)—Training Class (with a specific focus)
小学（xiǎoxué)—Primary School/Elementary School
中学（zhōngxué)—Secondary School (In China: 7th-12th Grade
初中（chūzhōng)—Middle School (In China: 7th-9th Grade)
高中（gāozhōng)—High School (In China: 10th-12th Grade)
丁客族（dīngkè zú）/丁克家庭（dīng kè jiātíng)—DINK (Double Income, No Kids)