Imbalance of Male and Female in China

Look at this group of interesting data:

Year | Male % | Male # | Female #

1976 50.92% 20,491,797 10,435,196 10,056,601

1977 50.86% 17,931,155 9,119,685 8,811,470

1978 50.55% 18,831,591 9,519,345 9,312,246

1979 50.45% 18,924,822 9,548,059 9,376,763

1980 50.64% 18,393,809 9,315,481 9,078,328

1981 51.00% 19,122,938 9,752,137 9,370,801

1982 51.02% 23,100,427 11,786,950 11,316,732

1983 51.21% 20,065,048 10,275,677 9,789,371

1984 51.53% 20,313,426 10,468,201 9,845,225

1985 51.88% 20,429,326 10,598,460 9,830,866

1986 51.85% 23,190,076 12,023,710 11,166,366

1987 53.87% 25,282,644 13,619,530 12,663,114

1988 52.00% 24,576,191 12,779,621 11,796,570

1989 52.16% 25,137,678 13,110,848 12,026,830

1990 52.69% 26,210,044 13,811,030 12,399,014

1991 53.16% 20,082,026 10,674,963 9,407,063

1992 53.40% 18,752,106 10,014,222 8,737,884

1993 53.53% 17,914,756 9,590,414 8,324,342

1994 53.83% 16,470,140 8,866,012 7,604,128

1995 54.08% 16,933,559 9,157,597 7,775,962

1996 54.24% 15,224,282 8,257,145 6,967,137

1997 54.64% 14,454,335 7,897,234 6,557,101

1998 54.97% 14,010,711 7,701,684 6,309,027

1999 55.09% 11,495,247 6,332,425 5,162,822

2000 54.08% 13,793,799 7,460,206 6,333,593

Source: CPIRC via Chedong’s Blog

What did it tell us?

  • There are more male born every year, and there is a strong imbalance.
  • 1986-1990 is a peak of birth, and in 2000, only half of those born in 1990.

Shall I worry when Yifan grows up, can he easily find a wife?

16 thoughts on “Imbalance of Male and Female in China

  1. jqian

    Don’t worry. If your child would become successful by social standard at that time, he will not have any problem. However, competitition would intensify for the rest of the group.

    Looking at this issue from a general angle, it could cause society to be more destablized due to so many males unable to form a family. It’s very interesting that society would be okay if female population outnumbers male population, like those periods after a great war. But when the situation is reversed, it may not be so lucky.

  2. solopolo

    54 vs 46

    that is a huge gap, apparently due the one child policy,

    what you should do now, if you worry about the future marital opportunities of your son, is to try your best, both you and your wife, to help tip the balance by having another child or more, of course making sure they are girls!

  3. jqian

    While you are producing one girl this side, 10 families are eliminating girls in the countryside at the same time. This is not a people’s issue, but a policy issue. Thirty years’ of low birth rate will significantly impact Chinese society in next 10-20 years.

  4. Nick

    The policy will cause China to have the largest aging population in the world in twenty years. The ramifications are significant as China’s economy is based on surplus of cheap labor and not retirees.

    Yifan need not worry and I laugh at that when people talk about it. China is not a closed bubble there are plenty of women in the world! Also the problem will impact the countryside. As the men there are not economically mobile and the women are sent to the cities to work.

    So Yifan will probably have five girlfriends like my younger friends today!. Places like Shanghai and Shen zhen attract women from all over China to come and work there because of the job market. So in fact in Shanghai the ratio of marriage age women to marriage age men is probably very high. Then narrow that further the number of marriage age women to successful men is probably very favorable.

    For Yifan if he is looking for a successful woman with a college education etc then that is a subset of this data and I would bet the ratio is still not bad. We would have to see how many men/woman for college enrollment.

    The social impact is already being seen. Women to become successful are more aggressive such as they are in the USA. When they have achievements they will become more demanding and will be able to pick and choose. On the other side the less educated girls will become more possessive and materialistic as the worry about being replaced easily.

    We will probably find that as the number of women dwindle in the countryside the government will try to change the policies as they have already but it does not change the fact that people prefer boys because they are assets they get married and have children benefiting the family. Daughters get married and become assets to another family or they leave to work in the cities. Until the social economic dynamics change this will not change.

    I asked a friend as there are already books in the west saying China will forge this surplus male population into some type of army to overrun asia. His response is that it will simply be “more men will come out of the closet”. The government has greatly relaxed the enforcement of the law around gay relationships.

    The social dynamics of Yifan’s China will be greatly different than yours.

  5. ecodelta

    “While you are producing one girl this side, 10 families are eliminating girls in the countryside at the same time.”

    Easy solution, produce 10 little girls.

  6. zhy8098

    我自己出生于1984年,目前没觉得身边单身男孩比单身女孩多,而且似乎从高中开始,同学中都是女生比男生多。

    记得新京报上曾经有一篇文章解释过这个问题,有一个观点是说男孩在成长的过程中遇到的危险更多,死亡率比女孩高。所以尽管男孩的出生率比女孩高,但成年以后男女比例并不一定失调。似乎有些道理

  7. jqian

    “我自己出生于1984年,目前没觉得身边单身男孩比单身女孩多,而且似乎从高中开始,同学中都是女生比男生多。

    记得新京报上曾经有一篇文章解释过这个问题,有一个观点是说男孩在成长的过程中遇到的危险更多,死亡率比女孩高。所以尽管男孩的出生率比女孩高,但成年以后男女比例并不一定失调。似乎有些道理”

    Your observation may be true inside urban environment, like in Shanghai. Because females nationwide tend to migrate toward wealthy urban regions, there could be more number for females than that for males in big cities like Shanghai or Beijing. This trend has been continuing for decades. Of course, you may not see that here. From a national stand point, the problem is quite big.

  8. imbalanced

    well, if ratios will not change, a regional solution in a 5 decades could be to have 2 husbands for a wife a family ratios, therefore the polygamy will be different from the paste, as no more the man with several wifes, but a less count but more predominant female status and role will emerge, as well male to male relations will be more regular.

    the issue remain very serious, and could emerge in instability, therefore social organizations, shall effectively promote and prize with social effective incentives female births.

  9. Jo

    I don’t think there were “more” males born each year. Come on Jianshuo, I’m sure you know better….mother nature don’t work that way…there were simply more female infants killed or not registered at birth than males….

  10. GN

    Good point, Jo.

    Girls are in “shortage”, yet, there are girls get “exported”… my neighbor has two Chinese daughters. These girls are having a good life… nothing fancy… just nice parents. They try very hard to keep some Chinese culture in their life… the kids are going to a public Chinese Immersion School.

    It’s going to be quite interesting in the near future… let’s say in 2030, these kids will be adults… I don’t know the exact numbers, but there is quite a lot of them. They are going to be a new kind of American Chinese women… Chinese girls who grow up in white families.

  11. ecodelta

    @GN

    Same thing here in Spain. A lot of adopted children are chinese girls.

    Some of them are now teenagers. Very nice looking and intelligent. Adoption policies are very strict, only good families allowed. Many families try also to keep culture bonds with China for this kids.

    They may look Chinese outside, but are Spanish from inside and outside. Spanish people are also made in China ;-)

    Maybe we could help, but a fiery Spanish lady it is going to be something new for Chinese boys ;-)

  12. ecodelta

    Not all babies come from Paris, some come from Beijing too. ;-)

    (That babies come from Paris is the fairy tale small kids are told here when they ask here where they come from)

    (Of course, right education come a little bit later when the go to school…)

  13. artuzai

    I wouldn’t worry.

    If we take the straightforward maths: 54 men will need to share 46 women, so 8 men (14%) will be without a woman. I’m pretty sure that 14% of the male population can already be rejected by women on other grounds, such as they are selfish, are color-wolf, are unclean, excessively play computer games, and so on.

    So you just need a son to be in the top 86% for charming (and caring for) a woman.

    p.s. Germany has 52% female inbalance. Men are haunted and hunted.

  14. mark hearne

    I would like to see the figures up until 2009

    Here is current World Fact Book figures 2009

    Age structure:

    Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.

    0-14 years: 19.8% (male 140,877,745/female 124,290,090)

    15-64 years: 72.1% (male 495,724,889/female 469,182,087)

    65 years and over: 8.1% (male 51,774,115/female 56,764,042) (2009 est.)

    Median age:

    Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.

    total: 34.1 years

    male: 33.5 years

    female: 34.7 years (2009 est.)

    Population growth rate:

    Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.

    0.655% (2009 est.)

    country comparison to the world: 146

    Birth rate:

    Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.

    14 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)

    country comparison to the world: 150

    Death rate:

    Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.

    7.06 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

    country comparison to the world: 130

    Net migration rate:

    Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.

    -0.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)

    country comparison to the world: 105

    Urbanization:

    Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.

    urban population: 43% of total population (2008)

    rate of urbanization: 2.7% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

    Sex ratio:

    Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.

    at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female

    under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female

    15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

    65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female

    total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2009 est.)

    Infant mortality rate:

    Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.

    total: 20.25 deaths/1,000 live births

    country comparison to the world: 105

    male: 18.87 deaths/1,000 live births

    female: 21.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth:

    Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.

    total population: 73.47 years

    country comparison to the world: 105

    male: 71.61 years

    female: 75.52 years (2009 est.)

    Total fertility rate:

    Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.

    1.79 children born/woman (2009 est.)

    country comparison to the world: 158

    The problem is already getting worse.

    Is it that the Chinese value men more then women? This is a human rights problem and a bad reflexion on the chinese people.

  15. rhsheeda

    Do some maths, considered the present social mindset, generation differences and taking into account the enormity of the chinese population there are pro’s and cons to this issue. There will be an enormous number of chinese men who will never marry. The concern of conflict and violence regarding such issues for a huge population of single men is a very valid point. The girls embraced by their parents are going to want to marry up or within influence and wealth, so boys who are lacking potential will be left behind.

    Infantcide of girls in provences is all to common fuelled by social expectation to have a boy for whatever reason. Therefore there would be places where the children are mostly boys. Parents will need to send them off to find a wife. Lets face it girls are mostly not going to want to marry farmers and so many if not most of the country boys will return home with little prospect of marriage. Most of these men will end up (and are duty bound) caring for their elderly parents and they will live and die alone…Sad. So in fifty years time the provences will be destitute with very few children.

    The younger generation will have a huge responsibility caring for an enormous population of elderly. If the one child policy continues for, lets say, another decade and preference for a boy continues then some statistics state that only one man in every 7 will marry and have a child. The mathematical result is that the population will be cut to at least a half once the elderly have mostly died. I do not know if this is good or bad for china economically and there will be a lot of personal suffering but the ecological benefits are well publicised and China with it’s present population is causing a huge negative impact on world ecology.

    Personally I believe Chinese people will tough out the bad times and will come through enriched.

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