It was introduced in 1980 and began to be formally phased out in 2015. The policy allowed many exceptions and ethnic minorities were exempt. In 2007, 36% of China's population was subject to a strict one-child restriction, with an additional 100% being allowed to have a second child if the first child was a girl.
On October 29, 2015, it was reported that the existing law would be changed to a two-child policy, citing a statement from the Communist Party of China. The new law became effective on January 1, 2016.