In the late 1970s, the government of China decided that population control was needed because of a rapidly growing population that would soon outgrow the country’s ability to feed itself. The policy mandated that every couple would only be allowed to have one child. The law exempts certain ethnic groups, rural families, and families where neither parent has no siblings. Punishment is strict and is primarily economic—China won’t provide medical care or education funding for the second child. The one-child rule has been working and has slowed population growth, reducing the threat of overpopulation.