One-child policy: How preference for male child turned China’s sons into economic burden in 40 years

By: |
September 25, 2019 2:19 PM

In a run of merely four decades, China’s one-child policy has had far reaching impact for millions of Chinese couples and has turned a significant number of its male population into an economic burden.

China, military parade, Chinese Communist Party, defence news, Beijing, Tiananmen Square China is in the middle of a bride problem as the female population dwindled owing to the one-child policy imposed in 1979.

In a run of merely four decades, China’s one-child policy has had far-reaching impact for millions of Chinese couples and has turned a significant number of its male population into an economic burden. With a population gap of over 6 crore females, China is in the middle of a bride problem as the female population dwindled owing to the one-child policy imposed in 1979. According to The Economist, after imposition of the one-child policy, Chinese couples were inclined to have male children over females, believing that they can fall back on the male child in their old age. Millions of unborn daughters were aborted and while China suspended the policy in 2015, the country is still paying for the gender skew.

How does it add up to male population becoming economic liability?

Parents of male children in China are expected to pay for wedding festivities and property to the newly wedded couple. The sum, which is known as bride-price, is popular in some countries and China is one of them. With a major fall in the female population, the bride-prices have skyrocketed, leaving Chinese parents with an added burden to save more and more for sons.

While the bride-price in rural areas was around 2,000 to 3,000 yuan a decade ago, the same has ballooned a hundred times. Parents are now compelled to save over one-third of their disposable income for weddings and are going into debt, The Economist reported. In a reversal, rural Chinese couples are now seeing their sons as economic burdens rather than counting on them for social and financial support in old age.

The situation is worse for poor, illiterate and rural men and the population of unmarried men is geographically and socially concentrated in the poor countryside of the nation. Many unmarried men have now taken upon themselves to save money and have migrated to cities in search of jobs. China suspended the one-child policy in 2016, rolling back to its earlier two-child policy as the country still has the largest population across the world.

Do you know What is Positive GDP growth seen in Q3, need to fight inflation: RB, Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), Finance Bill, Fiscal Policy in India, Expenditure Budget? FE Knowledge Desk explains each of these and more in detail at Financial Express Explained. Also get Live BSE/NSE Stock Prices, latest NAV of Mutual Funds, Best equity funds, Top Gainers, Top Losers on Financial Express. Don’t forget to try our free Income Tax Calculator tool.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1Davos dialogue: PM Modi to address World Economic Forum today
2PM Modi to address WEF’s Davos Agenda Summit tomorrow
3Union Budget 2021: Scope for tax concession very limited, higher capex may be focus, says EY