After more than three decades, China ended its controversial one-child family planning policy on Thursday amid concerns over an aging and shrinking population.
When the policy was first implemented, China’s population was exploding and the government feared widespread food shortages. But now, after bringing China’s birth rate down from about 6 children per woman in the 1960s to 1.5 today, the country is facing a different crisis.
China now has too many boys and not enough girls to go around, because families that preferred male children would abort their female fetuses under the policy. And another demographic crisis is looming, as the population ages and there aren’t enough people in younger generations to care for the elderly.
Check out these charts to see why China decided to end its one-child policy.