Did China's one-child policy actually reduce population growth?

image0A lot of the discussions of China's one-child policy seem to revolve around the idea that it was a human rights violation that led to sex-specific abortions and other abuses, along with problems like a lopsided gender ratio and an aging population — but that it also had a dramatic impact, massively slowing China's population growth.

But a rising group of demographers and sociologists is disputing that idea. By taking a closer look at population figures before and after the policy took effect, and by doing a more careful statistical analysis, researchers have found that China's population growth rate would have decreased in any case, and the policy was not just cruel, but unnecessary.