Author: chinadaily

Why China cannot be over-populated? [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 4

Post time 2007-3-3 07:21:35 |Display all floors ... order/2127rank.html ... order/2001rank.html

Sorry, the total fertility rates and economic statistics that I have given are from the above links. Whereas for the Philippines, she has a TFR of 3.11and a massive population of almost 90 million with a land area of 300,000 sq km, a population density 2.2 times of China.

Too big a population is a burden more than an asset. The question then is what is the optimum population for China. I think the present situation is just about right. China is still a net exporter of foodstuffs. With better agricultural technology, I am sure she can feed her population when it stabilises. The problem is oil, gas and other raw materials. Although China has the world's 3rd most natural resources, behind Russia and the US, she has a huge population that aspire to be rich. Imagine if car ownership is as high as the US, how much oil will she need?

The solution would be technology, recycling, conservation and efficient use of raw materials. Will China grow old before she get rich, no problem, raise the retirement age to 65, like more developed countries are doing. This will also make life more meaningful for old people, afterall life expectancy in China is 73 years. You just can't sit at home and do nothing, you will go senile and fall sick quicker.

Thus I am still very optimistic about China. But for the rest of the 3rd world, I am very pessimistic, how are they going to feed their people, where are the raw materials going to come from?

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Post time 2007-3-3 08:17:53 |Display all floors
Originally posted by greatwall_sg at 2007-3-3 07:21 ... order/2127rank.html ... order/2001rank.html

Sorry, the total fertility rate ...

Yes, the CIA Factbook is usually APPROXIMATELY correct, but sometimes it isn't up to date or is simply way off, like net migration rates for a number of countries just to take one example. Population reference bureau is reliable, they use up-to-date data from national statistical agencies or where it isn't available; estimates by experts:

Is The Philippines really that overpopulated? The Phillippines has almost 87 million people on 300 000 sq km, where ca.30% is arable. South Korea has 49 million people on less than a third of the area of the Philippines, where 19% is arable. Which country is the most overpopulated and which country is the richest? You tell me.

In African countries, they have huge areas with plenty of natural resources and low population densities, yet they are the poorest countries in the world. Are they overpopulated? Being rich or poor is not about having lots of natural resources per person. In the old days, people used to think like this. In today's modern market economy, it is the people, human capital, who is the resource.

When it comes to aging problem and retirement age. Very well, as the rapid aging continues, the countries worst affected would need to increase the retirement age substantially, while old people in countries with replacement rate fertility have the luxury to retire earlier if they want to. But even if you ban the retirement age altogether, forcing everybody to work until they lie in their grave, mother nature is still present. Imagine the amount of old peple with lung diseases in China in the future, with their horrible smoking habit and bad air quality. Old people get fragile and severe illnesses, they can't work as fast or as much as young people and it is more difficult to teach an old dog new tricks, they are also less entrepreneurial and risk-takers, which is vital in today's fast-paced modern economy. It is no coincidence that people have a harder time finding a new job when they're in their 50s or 60s.

Furthermore, China's labor force is largely based on manual labor, industry etc, which is not very good for old people compared to a private office job in the service sector. In this respect, old people in Japan, with an economy based on the service sector, will have a better time as they also have education for it. Another problem with an old population is of course that old people generally are savers and not consumers, not in line with the shift in China's economic structure. We see it very much in Japan today.

[ Last edited by uligen at 2007-3-3 09:31 AM ]

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Post time 2007-3-3 17:40:12 |Display all floors

1.2 billion?

intertesing readings above, many thanks, forumites.

then, how many of a number is the best China should keep, to maintain its labor competitiveness. I guess it as 1.2 billion, okay?

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Rank: 4

Post time 2007-4-19 21:58:34 |Display all floors
It's not about numbers, it's about momentum.
You need enough people in one generation to feed the one after and to create the next one.
Nowadays, Chinese people are globally sparing too much money, because China's system won't help them with healthcare and retirement, and they can't rely on the next generation like they traditionnaly did before.
This is a huge problem, because it keeps consumption very low, and keep the GDP dependant on foreign investments, that may withdraw anytime, should a problem occur (Taiwan, global recession, politic instability, whatever).
The one child policy is acceptable now because the generation just before the last one is the biggest China EVER encountered. But as said before, it's very unlikely, even in a very traditionnal country like China, that rate fertility kicks back in big cities.

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Post time 2007-4-20 11:10:30 |Display all floors
It is not just natural resources, but having a system of government that has a system of checks and balances and that is accountable to the people. That is Africa's main problem. They are too impatient and therefore can't keep on track long enough to make th headway needed to have lasting changes.
If China has the 1 child policy then TIME will take care of the population problem.
You want to speed up? Have a war against a worthy opponent. Russia or US.
"Finch...stay away from that Ficus! That's a jizz-free Ficus."- Steve Stiffler

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Post time 2007-4-28 06:38:30 |Display all floors
It is much more dagerous for a large country like China to be overpopulated than it is for a small one like South Korea, because a small country can always buy more food if they can not produce enough, but where can an overpoulated China or India buy enough food from?

But China has atleast acted and will probably be ok, but will have to deal with the difficulties of an ageing population instead.

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Post time 2007-4-30 16:17:02 |Display all floors
Originally posted by uligen at 2007-3-3 04:48

You seem to think that a person is a burden, not a resource. It is PEOPLE that creates GDP. Look at South Korea. If China had only 500 million people, China would naturally have a lower GDP tha ...

Imagine a poor family with just the man earning a living,  very low income hardly have enough for himself and his wife. If he does not have any family planning, sire children almost yearly during their reproductive years, perhaps up to 10 or more children, wouldn' t that be a big burder on him and his wife?
His children when grown up could be a resource to him  only if he had sufficient financial resouces to give them proper education, medical care and decent housing to grow and thrive.
If he fail to give sufficient foods, education, medical care and decent house to his children to live in, his  children with little opporunity for education or skills will  more  likely to repeat the same cycle like his father. This kind of scenerio is seen in most 3rd world countries with huge slums teeming with poor people with no way out!
Is that good for China?

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