China’s One-Child Policy and its Impact on America

Since its adoption in China in 1980, the one-child policy has meant an impact on the country’s population demographic. It has seen a reduction in population growth and at the same time a decrease in China’s young population. It is well recognized that like many of the developed countries, the population in China has continually and drastically aged due to the policy (Schwarzwalder, 2015). Unfortunately, these and more effects of the policy have crossed the ocean to reach the United States.

To begin with, some of the families in China disagreed with the policy and jumped ship to nations that allowed the same with most of these immigrants ending up in the US. With this immigration followed an influx of Chinese people in the country. When the United States implemented the Illegal Immigration Reform Act in 1996, Chinese immigrants were enabled to seek asylum. These immigrants and their later offspring have consistently joined the education sector and later on the job market, and in the process, boosting the country’s economic and reproductive sectors. According to Schwarzwalder, contemporary America has and continues to experience a stream of Chinese population in business, technology, innovation, medicine, education, and engineering (2015). A majority of these, as it goes without mentioning, are born and bred Americans from immigrant families. Arriving with set objectives to attain the American dream, they have embraced industry and in the process proved beneficial to America’s economy.

Fleeing the radical approaches by the Chinese government to implement the policy, many arrived, many who arrived sought asylum related to the policy as well as treatment. This development stemmed from the fact China was using crude, inhuman tactics to extend punishment to citizens who violated the decree (Fishman, 2005). In attempting to ensure one child per family, the Chinese were often subjected to forced abortions and large-scale sterilization campaigns, all of which were often harmful and fatal (Fishman, 2005). Also, birth tourists from the Asian country took advantage of the Reforms Act to gain citizenship. For America, this wave of immigrants over the years means extra income from those seeking medical and scientific procedures to reverse the effects of the one-child policy. The same applies to impacts on opportunities for jobs and the quality of the job market. The immigrants are willing to take low-paying jobs just to get by. At the same time, immigrants with expertise in business, medicine, and technology acquire positions in these sectors and upgrade productivity and performance.

Recently, birth tourists from China have been thronging the airports. By arriving in America when expecting babies, the Chinese immigrants who flee the one-child policy get to have their children in the country as US citizens by birth. A majority of these women are known to arrive with significant amounts of funds which are invested locally (Nortick, 2006). In California, for instance, businesses have cropped up that offer accommodation facility and hospitalization for China’s birth tourists (Nortick, 2006). The problem that accompanies these businesses includes increased cases of fraud and tax evasion (Nortick, 2006). Even with the development of such illegal cases, the context remains that the arrival of Chinese immigrants fleeing the one-child policy introduces a crop of investors into the country. In recent months, however, Americans have often proved hostile to birth tourists, accusing them of “anchoring babies” (Nortick, 2006). These waves of hostilities from the locals could prove detrimental to the tourism industry. The growing population of Chinese tourists could seek other immigration options across the globe.  Such a move is a potential threat since it cuts back on the sources of tourism revenue.


Fishman, T. (2005). China, Inc.: how the rise of the next superpower challenges America and the world. Simon and Schuster.

Nortick, R. (2006). Singled Out: A Proposal to Extend Asylum to the Unmarried Partners of Chinese Nationals Fleeing the One-Child Policy. Fordham L. Rev.75, 2153.

Schwarzwalder, R. (2015). On children, China, America, and abortion. Retrieved from Family Research Council: http://www. frc. org/twochildpolicy.