Study: China to enter ‘era of bachelors’ in five years

World Today

Children take a walk in a kindergarten on May 21, 2007 in Zibo of Shandong Province, China. The Ministry of Education in March released the country’s first annual report on campus safety, suggesting Chinese schools were not as safe as parents would hope. The report said among all incidents that affected kindergartens, primary and middle schools last year, about 40 percent took place on campus, according to state media. (CFP)

There’s a pressing issue for more than 30 million Chinese men at the moment: there will simply be not enough women for them to marry.

There were about 700 million males in the Chinese mainland by the end of 2014 according to official statistics — roughly 33.7 million more than there were females.

Yao Meixiong, a Chinese demographer, predicted China will face serious consequences caused by the country’s astounding gender imbalance by 2020, when the crisis will peak.

The issue has plagued China’s rural areas since 1982 due to the traditional preferences for sons and, obviously, the one-child policy. But its consequences have only been started to be taken seriously in recent years.

One prominent consequence of such gender disparity is the sharp rise of marriage costs. Some media reports claim that even in poverty-riddled areas, families of the groom have to give more than 150,000 yuan ($23,600) on average to the bride’s family as “nuptial gifts” so that the couple can marry.

In developed regions and provinces, the traditional concept of family inheritance also leads to couples’ preference for sons, and that’s where the business of illegal gender testing and forced abortions thrives. According to official data, a total of 270 million cases of induced abortion were recorded in China from 1971 to 2012.

In some parts of China, there are villages that are only inhabited by males. Such areas, as Yao points out, serve as a hotbed for crimes such as prostitution and human trafficking.

“While the issue of gender inequality exists in many countries, the strict population control measures should be blamed for the gender imbalance in China,” Huang Wenzheng, another demography scholar, said.

Story by CCTV NEWS.