Over the past 20 years, 250 million more children would have been born to 350 million families, and would have cost each family an average of 14,000 yuan (about US$1,690) to bring up these children if there was no family planning policy in China, according to a survey conducted by the State Family Planning Commission (SFPC).
The survey which was supported by the Chinese Social Science Fund shows that there was an average of 4.5 family members for each Chinese family in 1980, but now there is only an average of 3.6 people in a Chinese family. Meanwhile, the percentage of small families in China has also increased.
The survey also shows that fewer people in a family usually means higher per capital income for family members.
The family planning policy has helped to improve people's living standards and the health of women and children in China, according to Chen Shengli, director of the SFPC Department of Publicity and Education.
Family planning has reduced the cases of early marriage, early pregnancy and reduced the number of children a woman has and provides them with safe contraceptive measures. These have all helped to improve the health of women and their children, Chen said.
He said family planning has enabled women to devote more time to work, social activities, their children's education, entertainment and rest instead of household work, and in turn, has helped to improve women's social status.
The survey shows that women in families which do not practice family planning have to use 38 percent of their time doing housework while women in family planning households only use 20 percent of their time for the same purpose.