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June 01, 2010

How Much Gender Imbalance in a Country Before There are Societal Problems ?

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There has been concern about the sex ratio (baby boys to baby girls) in China. The sex ratio is normally about 103 to 107 boys for every 100 girls.

Recent analysis indicates that 3 million children are hidden each year in China and this action overstated the gender imbalance. China has an estimated 20 million live births and 13 million abortions each year. So the 3 million hidden children means 23 million live births. The sex ratio was estimated to be about 119 boys for 100 girls. So about 1.3 million more boys than an regular 106 boys for 100 girls ratio before the 3 million hidden children correction. How much of a problem there is in the gender ratio depends upon the gender ratio of the hidden children. Although it appears clear that more girls were hidden than boys.

USA Never Married 40-44

The percentage of men who never married in the USA is about 16-18.5% and the percentage for women is about 12%. These figures increased from 1970 when the amounts were about 3 times less, because of societal changes.


The gender imbalance in China is probably less because of the hiding of children. The increase in single men in the next generation may go from what might have been 15% to 20% but some may choose to remain single by choice.

This may not be as disasterous as some have predicted. There could be some importing of brides from other countries and their could acceptance of more polygamous relationships.

If each generation sees 1 in 10 men remaining single when they do not want to having that ratio increase to 1 in 6 may not have disruptive social consequences.

The list of countries by sex ratio according to wikipedia

Countries with better ratios of girls versus boys for 15 and under are Bangeladesh, Cambodia and several other countries.

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