Surplus Chinese Men: Three Factors to Guide Future Chinese Fertility Policies

Catherine D. Tucker, Pennsylvania State University

China's one-child policy has been the focus of many academic and policy papers. Researchers estimated that in 2000 there would be 23.5 million excess males in China looking for women to wed (Poston and Glover 2005). How long will the effects of the imbalanced sex ratio persist in China? Could new family planning policies reverse this trend? This paper seeks to address these questions by first identifying the factors that could be addressed by population policy in China and then a population projection to estimate the number of missing males in China. We find three demographic factors that affect the sex ratio at marriage: population growth rate, sex ratio at birth and mortality differentials. We conclude that sex ratio at birth is the most important of these three factors in reducing the number of surplus Chinese men who are unable to marry in the future.

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Presented in Session 61: Public Policy and Families Around the World