Good morning jbr7272 and thank you for the interesting question!
Years ago, when the government tried to persuade poor Chinese peasants
to use birth control. The government told the peasants that they were
poor because they had too many kids. The peasants contended that they
had and needed more kids, to work and support the family because they
During the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC)China had 20 million
people. By 1714, its population was only 24 million. By the middle of
the 18th century, the population reached 100 million. When the Emperor
passed away in 1795, China registered 400 million people. By the time
the communists took power in 1949, the population was about 541
million. In 1959, the population was 672 million. In 1961, the
population was 659 million. By 1981, the population in China broke
the one billion mark.
For year by year population from 1949 to 1981, please see:
( http://www.cpirc.org.cn/en/totpope.htm )
In the 1950s, the president of Beijing University, Dr. Ma Yinchu
(Master of Economics from Yale and Ph.D from Columbia) saw the
necessity of family planning. But his suggestions on the subject were
not taken seriously. As a matter of a fact, he was criticized for his
However, the population control measures did not begin until 1979:
"By now, the Chinese government realized they already had too many
people for them to feed. Any economic growth was offset by the rapid
growth of the population. The unemployment pressure, the demand for
improved living standard and many other factors forced the government
to adopt the stringent one-child policy starting in 1979."
Source: A Historical Perspective on china?s Population Control Policy
( http://www.shanghaiexpat.com/Article168.phtml )
The following article indicates that though birth control was "pushed"
via propaganda/advertising starting back in the 1950?s, the actual
one-child policy wasn?t forced until 1979:
"For one year, starting in August 1956, vigorous propaganda support
was given to the Ministry of Public Health's mass birth control
efforts. These efforts, however, had little impact on fertility. After
the interval of the Great Leap Forward, Chinese leaders again saw
rapid population growth as an obstacle to development, and their
interest in birth control revived. In the early 1960s, propaganda,
somewhat more muted than during the first campaign, emphasized the
virtues of late marriage. Birth control offices were set up in the
central government and some provinciallevel governments in 1964. The
second campaign was particularly successful in the cities, where the
birth rate was cut in half during the 1963-66 period. The chaos of the
Cultural Revolution brought the program to a halt, however.
In 1972 and 1973 the party mobilized its resources for a nationwide
birth control campaign administered by a group in the State Council.
Committees to oversee birth control activities were established at all
administrative levels and in various collective enterprises. This
extensive and seemingly effective network covered both the rural and
the urban population. In urban areas public security headquarters
included population control sections. In rural areas the country's
"barefoot doctors" distributed information and contraceptives to
people's commune members. By 1973 Mao Zedong was personally identified
with the family planning movement, signifying a greater leadership
commitment to controlled population growth than ever before. Yet until
several years after Mao's death in 1976, the leadership was reluctant
to put forth directly the rationale that population control was
necessary for economic growth and improved living standards.
Population growth targets were set for both administrative units and
individual families. In the mid-1970s the maximum recommended family
size was two children in cities and three or four in the country.
Since 1979 the government has advocated a onechild limit for both
rural and urban areas and has generally set a maximum of two children
in special circumstances."
Source: Population Control Programs
( http://reference.allrefer.com/country-guide-study/china/china55.html )
I hope this answers your question. If you would like clarification
before rating my answer, please do not hesitate to ask!
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