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China's Below-Replacement Fertility: Recent Trends and Future Prospects

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  • S. Philip Morgan
  • Guo Zhigang
  • Sarah R. Hayford

Abstract

Between 1970 and 1990, China experiencoed a rapid and sharp fertility decline-from total fertility rates of approximately six births to two. The degree to which Chinese fertility has continued to fall after 1990 is controversial. We use survey data from the 1997 National Population and Reproductive Health Survey and from the 2001 Reproductive Health and Family Planning Survey to document recent trends in Chinese fertility. Our estimates provide further evidence that China's fertility is well below-replacement level at the turn of the twenty-first century-with TFR levels of approximately 1.5 children per woman. Trends in parity-specific cohort fertility by age also suggest below replacement completed fertility for cohorts still in the childbearing years. In the article's second section, we identify key components of low period fertility in order to frame our discussion of two questions: 1) in what ways is Chinese low fertility different from/similar to that in other low-fertility countries? And 2) what are the likely future trends in Chinese fertility? Copyright (c) 2009 The Population Council, Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • S. Philip Morgan & Guo Zhigang & Sarah R. Hayford, 2009. "China's Below-Replacement Fertility: Recent Trends and Future Prospects," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(3), pages 605-629.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:35:y:2009:i:3:p:605-629
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Yong Cai, 2010. "China's Below-Replacement Fertility: Government Policy or Socioeconomic Development?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 36(3), pages 419-440.
    2. repec:spr:demogr:v:54:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0595-x is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Iris Claus & Les Oxley & Yang Du & Cuifen Yang, 2014. "Demographic Transition And Labour Market Changes: Implications For Economic Development In China," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 617-635, September.
    4. Arunachalam Dharmalingam & Sowmya Rajan & S. Morgan, 2014. "The Determinants of Low Fertility in India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(4), pages 1451-1475, August.
    5. Leontine Alkema & Adrian Raftery & Patrick Gerland & Samuel Clark & François Pelletier & Thomas Buettner & Gerhard Heilig, 2011. "Probabilistic Projections of the Total Fertility Rate for All Countries," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(3), pages 815-839, August.
    6. Yong Cai, 2013. "China's New Demographic Reality: Learning from the 2010 Census," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 39(3), pages 371-396, September.
    7. Máire Ní Bhrolcháin, 2011. "Tempo and the TFR," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(3), pages 841-861, August.
    8. Daniel Goodkind, 2011. "Child Underreporting, Fertility, and Sex Ratio Imbalance in China," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(1), pages 291-316, February.

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