China Touts Its 1-Child Rule for Slowing World Population Growth

By the Associated Press | October 27, 2011 | 6:06 AM EDT

BEIJING (AP) — Demographers say a claim that China's severe family planning limits slowed the world population's march to 7 billion people is unscientific.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday that limiting most families to one child has prevented 400 million births in China. It said the world would have hit 7 billion in 2006 rather than Oct. 31 as the United Nations predicts.

Demographers Cai Yong and Wang Feng say the number of averted births is half the government estimate. They also say economic and social changes lowered China's birth rate before the family limits were imposed.

Cai said draconian policy is not the way to answer population problems.