China Ended Its One Child Policy in 2015; What’s Happened Since?

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"One recent government study estimated that China’s labor force could lose 100 million people from 2020 to 2035, then another 100 million from 2035 to 2050."

"Burying ‘One Child’ Limits, China Pushes Women to Have More Babies", New York Times

In 1979, China enacted a family planning law that limited families to one child per household. In October, 2015 that law was changed to allow each household to have two children. 

This was certainly an important decision and one that has had and will have a highly personal impact on  China's citizens. It is a also decision that has the potential to have a major economic impact on the toy industry. 

So, what has happened since? The New York Times has issued a report on that subject by Steven Lee Myers and Olivia Mitchell Ryan entitled "Burying ‘One Child’ Limits, China Pushes Women to Have More Babies".

It seems, according to the article, that Chinese parents are not in such a big hurry to increase their family size. In fact, though the birthrate went up in 2016, it dropped last year. 

The article does not speculate on why the lack of interest in more children, but it occurs to me that it may be because this generation of parents, the product of the One Child policy, has no siblings and are used to living in small family units. Or it may be that, as in other developed countries, Chinese parents are focusing on careers and postponing having babies.

Whatever the reason, I see two major impacts on the toy industry:

The industry's dreams of a major increase in Chinese domestic toy consumption may may need to be put on hold.

The toy industry will be confronted with a dramatic drop in the Chinese work force that will impact factory production capacity. Finding enough toy workers is already a challenge in China and it may get much worse. 

According to the article: "One recent government study estimated that China’s labor force could lose 100 million people from 2020 to 2035, then another 100 million from 2035 to 2050."

China and its population concerns may seem like "their" problem but it is very much ours as well. The decisions that Chinese parents make in the coming years will have a major impact on all of our fortunes.

 

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