Awakening belatedly to its demographic emergency, China has relaxed its one-child policy, allowing parents to have two children. Demographers expect this reform to make little difference, though. In China, as around the world, various forces, including increasing wages and rising female workforce participation, have, over several decades, left women disinclined to have large families. Indeed, China’s fertility rate began declining well before the coercive one-child restrictions were introduced in 1978. By hastening and amplifying the effects of this decline, the one-child policy is likely to go down as one of history’s great blunders.
Via China’s Twilight Years by Howard W. French published in the June 2016 edition of The Atlantic.