One Is the Loneliest Number
Almost 20 years after China began trying to limit its population growth with a strict one-child policy, the effort seems to have been undermined in many regions by corruption, uneven enforcement, the erosion of central control over local governments, and the simple unwillingness of many Chinese people to comply. The one-child policy is still firmly enforced in cities and some rural villages, but other villages openly tolerate families with five or six children. Only some 60 million of the 300 million Chinese children under the age of 14 today come from single-child families, according to Chen Shengli, a senior official at the State Family Planning Commission. The one-child policy has led to the country having an estimated 66 million more men than women, a result of the Chinese preference for male children. China is the world’s most populous country, with an estimated 1.3 billion people.