Preference for Number and Sex of Children and Compliance with Birth Control Policy in Rural China

Yue Zhuo, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)

This paper examines people’s attitude about having too many or too few children, their preference for number and sex of children, and their compliance with birth control policy in rural China. The preference is determined by their concerns for several problems relevant to having too many children or too few children. Sociodemographic characteristics also affect individual preference. The concerns with high living expenses and harmful effects on health prevent people from giving birth to additional children. On the other hand, the concerns with shortage of labor force, loneliness of single child, and old-age security are significant pushing factors for rural Chinese to break birth control policy and give birth to “illegal” children. Further analyses examine the gap between the number and sex of children rural Chinese had and that they wanted. Special focus goes to the motives for non-compliance with birth control policy.

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Presented in Poster Session 5