20 photos that show how insanely crowded China has become


Great Wall lots of people


Tourists gather on the Great Wall outside Beijing.


China has reportedly dropped its long-standing one-child policy, which was first enacted decades ago in an effort to curb overpopulation.

China's population was approaching 1 billion when it enforced its one-child-per-family policy in the late 1970s. Exceptions were only made in the cases of ethnic minorities and rural couples, who were sometimes allowed two children.

The law was not the most popular, and there have been some unintended consequences, including a skewing of the population towards males and a disproportionate representation of elderly people.

Now, reportedly in an effort to bring balance back to the country's demographics, China is dropping the rule, and couples will be allowed to have two children.


The current population rests at around 1.4 billion after having the policy in place for over 35 years. Only time will tell how the lifting of the rule will impact the numbers.

These photos from Reuters are good examples of how crowded the country has already become.

(Captions by Reuters and Jack Sommer)