Christian Living

chinaconnection 04/08/09

Shanghai's Baby Girl Boom

Since the implementation of the one-child policy, China hasn't exactly been known for its equal male-female birth ratio, but that dynamic is changing in Shanghai.  According to city officials, the city's gender imbalance decreased for the first time in eight years. 

In 2007 there were 115.2 boys born for every 100 girls.  Today it's 114.8 boys to 100 girls.  In cases of permanent residents alone, the ratio has dropped to 106.5 boys to every 100 girls. 

Is the situation completely equal?  Not exactly.  The natural distribution for babies is about 103 boys to every 100 girls, so there's still a ways to go until the ratio evens out.  

Of course, China has a whole has a long way to go towards evening out the gender imbalance.  The 2007 nationwide average was 119 boys to 100 girls.  One city, Lianyungang, had a staggering ratio of 163.5 to 100.      

The New York Times had an interesting piece on male child abductions in Shenzhen, China, due to the pressure on rural families to have a male heir.  For some families, it's actually cheaper to pay for an abducted male child than to face the government fines for having too many children. 

The discrepancies between the gender ratios of urban versus rural areas indicate even greater differences nationwide.  Bridging this gap between rural and urban areas remains a daunting task for the nation, and while the evening out of the gender ratio in Shanghai is an encouraging sign, it's only a start.  

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