Marriage Squeeze in China: Past, Present, and Future


Based on a literature review of studies on the Chinese marriage squeeze, this study examines the evolution and trend of the
male marriage squeeze in China since 1950 and employs cohort analysis of the redundant boys born since 1983 to estimate the
yearly number of surplus males in the next 60 years. This research concludes that the marriage squeeze phenomenon has existed
in China since 1950, but in the 1960s, the country experienced the most severe male marriage squeeze. Moreover, in the next
two decades a surplus of 1.31 million males each year are expected because of the high sex ratio at birth since 1983, and
the total number of excess males will reach 30 million in 2028 and peak at 41.41 million in 2043. If the sex ratio at birth
in the future is still as high as that in 2012, the male marriage squeeze will become more serious.

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