Population and Economy of China and India

Differences between China and India’s population policies

China implemented an intensive program of birth planning where couples were supposed to have two well spaced children. Contraceptives were issued free of charge while people were paid for the time they spent seeking to secure abortion and sterilization. On the other hand, India’s policy was centralized at the national level. Moreover, it concentrated too much on spreading birth control technology instead of educating people on how to plan their families (Kwan & Yu, 2005).

Factors that led to the success or failure of the policies

China’s program succeeded because the society was involved through the decentralization of the decision about childbearing and marriage to the governing council or the work brigade. People were not compelled but rather coaxed to embrace family planning. The government system was also rigid and the program was executed parallel with other programs like barefoot doctors. On the contrary, India’s policy ignored the impacts the process could have on social change. The major hindrance to its success came when Gandhi tried to use force to sterilize government employees. This caused resistance against the policy from people. Moreover, there were no programs to support the birth control program.

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Reasons why India’s Population will Overtake that of China

India’s population growth rate is still higher than that of China. On the same note, India’s population is largely made up of young people who want to marry and have children (Todaro & Smith, 2011). Unfortunately, the gospel of family planning has not had the intended impact on the society. The use of contraceptives is not widely spread in India. Similarly, India does not invest enough resources in the family planning programs thus reducing the efficiency of the policies. On the other hand, China successfully has spread the message about the importance of family planning.

The Chinese people are well conversant with the issue of family planning unlike the Indians. Furthermore, China made family planning part of its national culture and their aim of two children is highly regarded (Todaro & Smith, 2011). The literacy levels in China are also higher than those in India. Moreover, the homogeneity and dictatorship nature of rule in China ensures that policies are easily and effectively implemented. On the contrary, India’s caste system, democracy and diversity are stumbling blocks in implementation of laws. All these factors have hindered the efforts of India in reducing its population growth rates.

Characteristics of People Who Migrate to Urban Areas and Their Effects on Those Who Remain In Rural Areas

The difficult economic conditions in rural areas make people migrate to the urban areas where they hope to get jobs and thus advance their income. Mostly, it is the youth who move to urban areas especially after school. These people are young, energetic and well educated; they mostly get jobs and increase their income which they then send back home thus improving living standards of people in rural areas. However, migration is also detrimental. The rural areas are left without a human capital which crucially needed for development (Fan, 2008). Consequently, rural areas lag behind economically because most people who are able to work leave for urban centers.

Definition of Urban Bias and Its Major Effects

Urban bias is a situation where most of the economic development projects are executed in urban areas while rural areas are left behind. This usually occurs because of the high concentration of influential people and economic systems in urban areas. It is important to note that urban bias leads to some economic gaps between urban areas and rural areas. It reduces chances of the rural areas to develop while in urban areas it leads to overexploitation of public resources. As such, urban bias leads to increased inequalities in income distribution. Developing nations tend to exhibit urban bias to a greater extent. Countries like India, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin American countries are examples of countries where urban bias is more pronounced.

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Importance of Rural-Urban Migration as a Source of Urban Population Growth

As rural-urban migration takes place, population in the urban centers increase. However, this type of population growth is beneficial to some given extent only. To begin with, the urban centers receive educated people who are ready to start working. Consequently, the resources channeled to these people before they become productive are minimal (McGranahan & Tacoli, 2006). Moreover, these people increase the demand for goods in urban centers which in turn increases consumption thus leading to increased economic growth. At the same time, rural-urban migration reduces travelling costs for people working in urban areas while improving job opportunities, transportation, housing and education.

Influence of Rural-Urban Migration on China’s Rapid Growth

China is one of the countries that has benefited from rural-urban migration contrary to other Asian countries. People from rural areas usually provided cheap labor for the industries in urban areas. Additionally, China has invested heavily in education, and thus the urban population is composed of people with the technical expertise that is crucial for development. On the contrary, India and other Asian countries have not invested in the industrial sector and thus the rural-urban migration is added to urban problems (Kwan & Yu, 2005). Similarly, China’s urban population found it easier to get jobs and thus increased private consumption unlike Bangladesh where rural urban migration only reduced living standards of people.


Fan, C. C. (2008). China on the Move: Migration, the State, and the Household. London: Routledge.

Kwan, Y. K. & Yu. E. S. (2005). Critical Issues in China’s Growth and Development. Farnham: Ashgate Publishers.

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McGranahan, G. & Tacoli, C. (2006). Rural Urban Migration in China: Policy Options for Economic Growth, Environmental Sustainability and Equity. London: IIED.

Todaro, M. P. & Smith S. C. (2011). Economic Development. Boston: Addison-Wesley.

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