Impacts of China’s One-child Policy on Public Health in China: An Overview


  • Zheng Li US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Ziwei Song


China, One-child policy, public health, review, maternal health, children’s health, sex ratio, aging society



In 2015, China lifted its one-child policy and replaced it with a universal two-child policy that became effective on January 1, 2016.  The one-child policy, introduced in 1979 to strictly reduce population growth in the country, had profound impacts not only on population growth control, but also on public health and many other aspects affecting population health. In this article, we review its positive impacts on public health in China, such as greatly improved health status in the country, most likely due to the combination of the one-child policy and the economic reform that started approximately the same time. We also discussed several undesirable outcomes, such as skewed sex ratio and aging population. Finally, we proposed potential strategies to compliment the newly implemented two-child policy. 

摘要: 2015年底, 中国宣布取消独生子女政策,并于2016年一月一日开始实施二孩政策。自从1979,独生子女政策在过去30多年减缓了中国的人口增长, 同时也在公共卫生和人口健康有深远的影响。这篇概述回顾独生子女政策在公共卫生方面的积极影响,也讨论了一些政策的负面影响,比如偏倚的男女比例和加速老龄化。 最后,本篇概述提出一些让二孩政策更好实施的策略。




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