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Images of China - 'Little Emperor'

'Little Emperor' and his father

In an attempt to reduce the birth rate in China, the government introduced its 'one child policy' in the late 1970s. In fact the birth rate had begun to decline and remains around 17 per 1000 despite the introduction of these practices. The average family size, at 1.8 children per woman, remains above the target. This can partly be explained by the 'loopholes' in the policy, which include a relaxation in rural areas and amongst minority peoples. A couple who themselves are both only children are also allowed to have more than one child. One of the consequences of this 'one child' policy has been the development of a gender imbalance, which now see 120 males for every 100 females. Male children dominate and have been given the nickname of 'Little Emperors'. They are the centre of attention of both parents and grandparents, and an increasing problem is the overweight child.

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