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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

China: Worrisome Demographic Trends

Demographic Trends: China

China Map Courtesy BBC
China is a populace place. At 1.3 billion people and growing rapidly population trend analysis must be of paramount importance to government planners.

The above linked article highlights some disturbing trends in China's demographics such as







  • "The sex ratio" in some areas of China is as high 130:100 (male/female) and generally is higher than the accepted world ratio of around 103:100
  • By 2025 there will be 300 million people in China above 60 years of age
  • In ten years China will face a "bride shortage" unprecedented in world history


Of course China's 'two child' policy has a lot to do with two of these trends. Parents are practicing "birth sex selection" through the likes of abortion to ensure the birth of sons who are considered better long term investments in terms of rural labour and as "superannuation policies" for parents.

The other trend, the aging of the population, is a concern as China does not have an aged social security programme nor has superannuation planning been a priority in China as it has in the west.

In the words of the columnist whereas Japan got rich before it got old China will get old before it gets rich.

The social ramifications of these trends are immense. A population bigger than the United States, a very high percentage of which having no form of income other than as provided by family, and millions of men without partners.

The psychological impact on the mental health of the nation alone is staggering to contemplate let alone the financial aspects.

It is interesting to note in her article that the skewing of the sex ratios does not apply (yet) to the Uygurs and the Tibetans whom as minorities had, until recently at least, been excluded from the "two child policy" and whose religions would look poorly upon certain "sex selection" techniques.