Legacy of the One-Child Policy: Marriage Dilemmas in Urban and Rural China

  •  Yujia Gu    


China’s one-child policy, the family planning policy enforced in 1980, continued for almost 36 years and created a lasting impact on both China’s declining total fertility rate (TFR) and its sex ratio imbalance. This paper discusses the marriage dilemma caused by the one-child policy and its separate outcomes in urban and rural areas. In urban areas, the expense for childbearing, the equated monthly installment (EMI) payments, and the self-consuming nature of marriage contributed to the declining marriage rate as well as the TFR. In rural settings, the surplus of single men due to the entrenched “son preference” created a demand for the bride-trafficking market, an industry of purchasing a bride as a form of property. In this paper, I conclude that the marriage crisis and its side effects are the legacies of the one-child policy, and the Chinese government needs to craft effective approaches in addressing these problems.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1916-9655
  • ISSN(Online): 1916-9663
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: semiannual

Journal Metrics

Google-based Impact Factor (2017): 5.42
h-index (January 2018): 11
i10-index (January 2018): 21
h5-index (January 2018): 6
h5-median (January 2018): 9

Learn More