Sex ratio may cause marriage squeeze

Sex ratio may cause marriage squeeze
A girl attends a Tibetan language lesson at a primary school in Chamdo county, the Tibet autonomous region, on July 19.

CHINA - China still faces a tough challenge to redress a long-term skewed sex ratio of births on the mainland, which now stands at about 117.7 boys for every 100 girls, said Chen Zhu, vice-chairman of the 12th National People's Congress Standing Committee.

He made the remark at an awareness-raising event on gender equality and women's empowerment, held on Friday by the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

The global norm is 103 to 107 boys for every 100 girls.

"Such a skewed ratio will undermine China's healthy and balanced population development in the long run and lead to great difficulty for men to find a wife," Chen said.

By 2020, there will be 30 million more Chinese males aged 20 to 45 than females of the same age, which will prompt a marriage squeeze, expert estimates show.

A marriage squeeze refers to a demographic imbalance in which the number of potential brides does not approximately equal the number of potential grooms.

"That might upset social stability and harmony," Chen warned.

The imbalance in China's sex ratio at birth has been gradually curbed largely due to government-led administrative measures and the difference has continued to decline on the mainland during the past four years, statistics from the commission showed.

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