Is fertility in china in 1991–92 far below replacement level?
In this article it is shown that the extremely low fertility rates reported in China – well below replacement level – derived from the Chinese Survey in 1992 are false. Serious under-reporting of most recent births in China was caused by various factors, among them high pressure on officials to achieve the birth control targets set, the design of the questionnaire, and the employment of family planning workers as enumerators. The most likely value of total fertility in 1991–92 was at or slightly below replacement level, i.e. between 2.1 and 2.2 children per woman. Even after adjustment for serious under-reporting, marital fertility fell substantially between 1990 and 1992, mainly as a consequence of tighter implementation of the strict family planning programme. Rapid economic development also contributed to the fall, as many young people in the country left farming to engage in non-agricultural activities locally, or migrated to urban areas, particularly in the southern part of the country, where economic boom conditions may also have contributed to reduced or delayed fertility. In conclusion, some suggestions for future research on population policy and its implementation in China are presented. © 1996 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
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