“Later, longer, fewer” (in Chinese – wan, xi, shao) was a Chinese population policy that promoted later marriage, fewer kids and a longer gap between successive children—to reduce population and lessen the human burden on government services. Introduced in 1976, during the time of Mao’s death, the campaign is considered the cornerstone of China’s birth control initiatives.

  • Later: Start a family after having a stable career.
  • Longer: Have a good 3 to 4-year gap between subsequent kids to make sure every child gets appropriate education, healthcare and parental attention.
  • Fewer: Give birth to fewer kids so that you’re not financially and/or emotionally strained to provide a healthier and richer upbringing to kids – not to mention the positive influence on the country’s population.

China’s population saw a substantial decline during the late 1970s; the government attributing the decline to this birth control campaign. China later revoked the policy and put in a more stringent family planning policy, known as one-child policy, wanting to have a much speedier economic growth.