China’s Unbalanced Sex Ratio at Birth, Millions of Excess Bachelors, and Societal Implications

Dudley L. Poston, Jr., Texas A&M University
Eugenia Conde, Texas A&M University

Between the 1960s and the 1990s, China experienced a rapid fertility reduction from more than six children per woman in the early 1960s to less than two children per woman in the 1990s. This fertility reduction has been one of the most rapid fertility declines in recorded human history and has resulted since the 1980s in millions more boys being born each year than girls. In this paper we develop estimates of how many extra boys have already been born in China through the year of 2010. When these many millions of extra boys born in China reach marriage age they will not be able to find Chinese women to marry. This has important and relevant implications for China’s marriage market, the provision of parental care, and for the incidence of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, issues we explore and discuss in this paper.

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Presented in Poster Session 5