Photo by flumesday.com
While some news outlets tend to get downright hysterical about China’s gender imbalance problem, discrepancies in census figures here suggest a much more optimistic view – looks like families shouldered with female children, instead of aborting them, choose just not to declare them instead.
One example listed by The Telegraph: Fu Yang, a 47-year old man living in a small village outside Xiamen, boasts of having 7 daughters in 10 years. To keep them, he’s had to flee across three provinces and hide some of the girls with friends, but “we have a decent respect for life. In China, we think that when you have a child it is like dropping a piece of your own body from you, and we never considered the other options.”
While his family may be an extreme case, there is evidence to suggest that it isn’t all that rare to flout the one-child law.
China’s one-child policy has been in place since 1978 in an attempt to stem the growth of the world’s largest population. Between the traditional desire to have a boy, and the one-child policy, China should produce a surfeit of 30 million men by 2020.
Yet research by Liang Zhongtang, a demographer and former member of the expert committee of China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission, finds that people might be hiding roughly 3 million babies from the government each year… at least until they’re old enough to be revealed with little repercussion.
He notes that “In 1990, the national census recorded 23 million births. But by the 2000 census, there were 26 million ten-year-old children, an increase of three million… Normally, you would expect there to be fewer ten-year-olds than newborns, because of infant mortality.”
Coupled our calculations that the boy-girl imbalance rate is actually being reduced, this news means that there’s some hope yet for all the single guys in China.