China’s one-child policy has created two major demographic risks for the country. The one that gets more attention is its ageing population, which is causing the workforce to shrink. Moreover, China’s rapidly ageing population is putting pressure on the country’s health and pension systems.
But China also has a heavily skewed sex ratio.
A new report from Nomura finds that Chinese women are bearing only 0.71 girls over their lifetime. In 2010, there were 51 million more men than women in the country. From Nomura:
“At this rate, there will not be enough brides for as many as one-fifth of today’s baby boys when they get to marrying age, heightening the risk of social tensions.”
The sex ratio among newborns was 120 boys for every 100 girls or a sex ratio of 1.2. In China, as in many Asian countries, couples favour boys over girls, especially in rural towns. While India doesn’t have an ageing population, its sex ratio is also highly skewed towards males.
As you can see, China’s sex ration really is in a league of its own. Nobody else is close, and of course that means lots of single, possibly angry males. Hard to imagine anything good coming out of this.