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Below Replacement Fertility in China? A Close Look at Recent Evidence

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This paper presents detailed evidence on fertility levels and trends in China from a survey conducted in 1992 by the State Family Planning Commission. The evidence is analyzed internally and by comparison with evidence from the Census of Population of 1990 and from two previous surveys. The results of the 1992 survey, which indicated fertility levels far below replacement during the early 1990s, have been greeted with considerable scepticism. Close attention has therefore been paid to evidence and argument bearing on the completeness of reporting of births in the survey. While the survey data probably understate fertility levels after 1990, the results for 1990 and before appear to be generally reliable. Even allowing for substantial underreporting of births during 1991-92, it appears likely that Chinese fertility did, in fact, fall to replacement level during the early 1990s.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Program on Population, The East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii 96848, USA 2: Beijing Institute of Information and Control, Beijing, China

Publication date: November 1, 1994

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