Family Demography in Asia
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Family Demography in Asia

A Comparative Analysis of Fertility Preferences

Edited by Stuart Gietel-Basten, John Casterline and Minja K. Choe

The demographic future of Asia is a global issue. As the biggest driver of population growth, an understanding of patterns and trends in fertility throughout Asia is critical to understand our shared demographic future. This is the first book to comprehensively and systematically analyse fertility across the continent through the perspective of individuals themselves rather than as a consequence of top-down government policies.
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Chapter 7: Fertility preferences in China

Zhenzhen Zheng, Baochang Gu and Stuart Gietel-Basten


Fertility preferences in China are, without doubt, closely linked to the history of that country’s family planning policies. It is, however, incorrect to conclude that the policies – especially the famous “one-child policy” – is the sole causal factor in shaping fertility preferences. In this chapter we examine the recent history of fertility preferences in China, and explore how these have changed in relation to family planning policies as well as other economic and social factors. We conclude that sub-replacement fertility preferences may well be a feature of contemporary Chinese society and explore the implications for future changes in fertility.

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