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Lecture 17 -
Population in Modern China

Families lived together in traditional China and sons remained on the land; division of family land led to tiny plots and rural poverty. Because labor was so cheap, the country did not urbanize or mechanize. The Communist government started out with a pro-natal stance, but after experiencing the famine of the Great Leap Forward, moved strongly to fertility control. Fertility declined rapidly in the 1970s, but to counter momentum, the One-Child Policy was introduced in 1979-80. Nevertheless, population has now risen to over 1.3 billion.


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