As you can see there is no problem for replacement levels in some parts of the world: http://www.unz.com/isteve/
Forty years of indoctrination and coercion have changed the culture. At least Russia did not have to fight against it’s own anti-natalist propaganda. I imagine the urban Chinese population will never recover any significant part of its lost fertility; China will have to see a fairly massive increase in the impoverished rural areas if it is to avoid long-term well-below-replacement fertility overall.
The one-child policy was an enormous evil, that resulted in tens of millions of abortions, many of them forced, forced sterilisations, and the abandonment of untold numbers of illegal children. It should not be a great surprise that China will suffer on account of it.
Does a country the size of the USA with four times as many people really need to be running at full replacement rate?
It is not the size, but the demographic composition of the population, with respect to the workforce.
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Yes, because otherwise they are going to have lots of old people for few workers.
This is interesting, but not that surprising. In the U.S., we tend to think of a two-child family as “natural” so that when a country’s birth rate drops, it’ll settle there. But there’s nothing natural about it — if a culture becomes accustomed to a one-child norm, if all your friends and relations have one child, why should you deviate? That’s what’s happened in Germany, anyway. http://janetheactuary.blogspot.com/2013/08/whats-going-to-happen-to-germany.html