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One Is the Loneliest Number: 100 Million Chinese Are "Onelies"

One Is the Loneliest Number: 100 Million Chinese Are "Onelies"

For someone who puts a fair amount of stock in how astrology and birth order affects a personality, this news released yesterday by China's state media is chilling: there are now 100 million only children running around. China's famed one-child policy began in the late 1970 and continues to limit couples to one child per household has resulted in 100 million people with no one to fight with, share with, relate to — and the shrinking family is becoming permanent. In 1982, the average Chinese household was 4.4 people. In 2005, it dropped to 3.1.

In a nation that currently has about 1.3 billion people, this law has prevented an estimated 400 million additional births from occurring. It's prevented the population equivalent of the United States. As China created the law to ensure better health care and education, it's possible they've succeeded, though not without its trade-offs. To see how, read more.

This Spring's catastrophic earthquake saw parents of only children left childless in an instant. Detractors also claim that the practice has also led to forced abortions and sterilizations — not to mention a dangerously imbalanced sex ratio of men to women, favoring of male children over female. Though there are loopholes to the plan, it's a delicate benefit to detriment system.

Is controlling population worth the expense of fooling Mother Nature? What will become of the country when the kids grow up and China is ruled by a legion of children who've been the center of attention?

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