China is the world’s most populous country with a total population of 1.354 billion people by the end of 2012. China’s population continues to increase steadily even as the population growth rate has reduced at 4.95 per 1,000 people in 2012 down from 11.21 per 1,000 people in 1994.
Concurrent with China’s ever-increasing population is a fast growing economy accompanied by rapid socio-economic changes that bring in a host of challenges in ensuring comprehensive sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information, education, and services to its general populace.
Providing adequate healthcare, including SRH services, to its more than one billion people, has long been a great concern for China. Since 1994, when the country signed the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action, China has put in efforts to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of individuals and has achieved observable results and outcomes.
The total fertility rate of women in China fell below the replacement level in the early 1990s and kept declining to about 1.6 at present, an indication that China has transitioned into the group of low fertility countries. At the same time, the sex ratio of the population has been increasing, from 104.51 in 1994 to 106.74 in 2000.