The Corner

Re: The Ugly Beast Returns

Government-mandated one-child policies continue to have their champions among the liberal elite. Yet in China, where the one-child policy was, uh, born, they’re having second thoughts:

More than 30 years after China’s one-child policy was introduced, creating two generations of notoriously chubby, spoiled only children affectionately nicknamed “little emperors,” a population crisis is looming in the country.

The average birthrate has plummeted to 1.8 children per couple as compared with six when the policy went into effect, according to the U.N. Population Division, while the number of residents 60 and older is predicted to explode from 16.7 percent of the population in 2020 to 31.1 percent by 2050. That is far above the global average of about 20 percent.

The imbalance is worse in wealthy coastal cities with highly educated populations, such as Shanghai. Last year, people 60 and older accounted for almost 22 percent of Shanghai’s registered residents, while the birthrate was less than one child per couple.

John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

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