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120 Males for Every 100 Females

Great story in the WSJ about China, where the world's most dramatic marriageable mate imbalance experiment is playing out.

From the article:

China has rolled out new population figures, unearthing--among a host of fresh data--some revealing information on the gender gap.

The good news: China's gender gap is shrinking. The bad news: It may not be shrinking fast enough.

According to figures released Thursday by the National Bureau of Statistics, slightly less than 51.3% of China's population is male, falling from just above 51.6% in the year 2000. According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, the current male-female ratio is the most balanced since the country's first national census in 1953.

The new numbers can be explained partly by government efforts to fight sex-selective abortion, which, as the state-run Global Times noted in a report last year, became something of an epidemic after China introduced the one-child policy in 1980. Although Beijing has rejected proposals to criminalize elective abortion of female fetuses, parts of China began banning the use of ultrasound to determine the sex of a fetus in the year 2000, periodically cracking down on clinics that continue to offer sex-selective abortion.

The narrowing of the gap might also have benefited from a gradual shift in favor of female children among middle class parents in larger cities, some of whom dread the expense of eventually having to pay for a son's wedding and buy him an apartment.

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