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China Center Newsletter

Are the last remnants of China’s notorious “one-child policy” finally heading for the dustbin of history? Rumors are swirling in Beijing that the government is ready to scrap altogether its longstanding and controversial restrictions on childbearing for Chinese couples, possibly as soon as 2019.

For 40 years, no social policy in the world has had a greater impact on a country’s labor market—and, by virtue of its size, the global labor market—than China’s family-planning restrictions. The policy has been amended and loosened numerous times in recent years, but a total repeal would be historic. Workforce planners focused on China need to remain appraised of these policy developments, and prepare for their potential ramifications—both good and ill.

This month’s newsletter compiles our latest thinking on Chinese demographic trends and how they’re impacting MNCs operating in the country. As you’ll learn below, while the one-child Policy is a root cause of much of China’s uniqueness, it’s now just one of many drivers that matter in what will remain a singular human capital environment. 

If you have questions or comments—or would like a deeper dive into any of this research—please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at We’re always ready to set up a briefing, in-person or virtual, with your team. It’s part of your membership in The Conference Board.

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