Sex ratio in China 2018, by age group

The gender or sex ratio in China has been a contentious issue since the introduction of the one-child policy in 1979, intended to limit the population of the country. Although the policy is no longer in place, the population gender difference throughout the country is still evident. In 2018, ten to fourteen-year old children had the largest gender disparity of 118.62 males to every 100 females.

Gender imbalance

While the difference of gender at birth has been decreasing in the country over the past decade, China still boasts the world’s most skewed sex ratio at birth at around 114 males born for every 100 females as of 2018. That means there are about 30 million more men in the country than women. This imbalance likely came from the country’s traditional preference for male children to continue the family lineage, in combination with the population control policies enforced.

Where does that leave the population?

The surplus of young, single men across the country poses a risk for China in many different socio-economic areas. Some of the roll-on effects include males overrepresenting specific labor markets, savings rates increasing, consumption reducing and violent crime increasing across the country. However, the adult mortality rate in China, that is, the probability of a 15-year-old dying before reaching age 60, was significantly higher for men than for women. For the Chinese population over 60 years of age, the gender ratio is in favor of women, with more females outliving their male counterparts.

Sex ratio in China in 2018, by age group

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Release date

October 2019



Survey time period


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