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This article provides a broad overview of China's family planning policy during the last three decades, highlighting key trends and goals of the program at national and provincial levels. It focuses on the administrative, economic, cultural, and other factors that have helped or hindered the family planning effort and reviews the impact of the program on the provincial population. A key question is whether the policy of strict fertility control will remain relevant and enforceable as population growth slows, as controlling private life becomes increasingly problematic for the government, and as new demographic problems (for example, aging) emerge.