Re-examining China’s provincial socioeconomic development and fertility change

TAO Tao1 JIN Guangzhao2 YANG Fan1

(1.Population Development Studies Center, Renmin University of China)
(2.School of Sociology and Population Studies, Renmin University of China)
【Knowledge Link】human development index

【Abstract】This study explores the relationship between China’s provincial total fertility rate (TFR) calculated from census data and adjusted by scholars in 1982, 1990, 2000 and 2010 and the provincial human development index (HDI). China experienced rapid increase in the HDI and continuous decrease in the TFR at all provinces and shrinking regional disparities in both of them. The two variables are negatively correlated while the inhibition effect of HDI on TFR is gradually decreased. After dividing regions by different policy types, we find that the two still have negative correlation and without showing a J-curve relation in different category of regions, although Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin have reached the very high human development level which exceeds 0.788 in 2010. Unlike some western developed countries, China’s fertility level does not turn to rise with the socioeconomic development. Without adjusting fertility policy, the fertility level of all the provinces would continue declining with the socioeconomic development. A timely releasing of fertility policy can effectively restrain further decline of TFR.

【Keywords】 total fertility rate; human development index; policy adjustment; policy effect;

【DOI】

【Funds】 General Project of the National Social Science Foundation of China (16BRK004) Major Project of Key Research Institute of Humanities and Social Science of the Ministry of Education of China (15JJD840003)

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(Translated by ZHANG Hailin)

    Footnote

    [1]. Human Development Report of 2010 divides equally 2010 HDI ranking of all countries in the world by the quartile method and divides the level of human development into four categories: very high human development (HDI ≥ 0.788), high human development (0.677 ≤ HDI < 0.788), medium human development (0.488 ≤ HDI < 0.677), and low human development (HDI < 0.488) (UNDP, 2010). [^Back]

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This Article

ISSN:1000-6087

CN: 11-1489/C

Vol 41, No. 06, Pages 33-44

November 2017

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Article Outline

Knowledge

Abstract

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Research ideas and data methods
  • 3 Impact of TFR data quality
  • 4 Relationship between socioeconomic development and fertility level
  • 5 Impact of regional disparities in policies
  • 6 Conclusions and discussions
  • Footnote

    References