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Huang Yulong, who had a vasectomy at 26 and plans to remain childless, near his apartment in Guangzhou, China. Your Web Browser may be out of date. If you are using Internet Explorer 9, 10 or 11 our Audio player will not work properly.
At almost 1. On average, boys are born for every girls in China, compared to the world average of torespectively. The effects of the imbalance are already felt by an aging population and, in time, it could seriously impair Chinese society.
A once-in-a-decade population census has shown that births in China have fallen to their lowest level since the s - leading to calls for an end to birth control policies. But some in China say these policies aren't the only thing that's stopping them. The year-old, who has been married for two years, wants to "live my life" without the "constant worries" of raising .
China has nearly 35 million more single men than women
It sounds exhausting. Lili spoke to the BBC on condition of anonymity, noting that her mother would be devastated if she knew how her daughter felt.
But this difference of opinion between the generations reflects the changing attitudes of many young urban Chinese toward childbirth. China's census, released earlier this month, showed that around 12 million babies were born last year - a ificant decrease from the 18 million inand the lowest of births recorded since the s. Single men china the overall population grew, it moved at the slowest pace in decades, adding to worries that China may face a population decline sooner than expected.
Shrinking populations are problematic due to the inverted age structure, with more old people than young. When that happens, there won't be enough workers in the future to support the elderly, and there may be an increased demand for health and social care.
China wants more babies, but some single men choose vasectomies
Ning Jizhe, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, said at a government presentation that lower fertility rates are a natural result of China's social and economic development. As countries become more developed, birth rates tend to fall due to education or other priorities such as careers. Neighbouring countries like Japan and South Korea, for example, have also seen birth rates fall to record Single men china in recent years despite various government incentives for couples to have more children.
But experts say China's situation could be uniquely exacerbated given the of men who are finding it difficult Single men china find a wife in the first placelet alone think of starting a family. After all, there is a severe gender imbalance in the country - last year, there were This is a hangover of the country's strict one-child policy, which was introduced in to slow population growth.
In a culture that historically favours boys over girls, the policy led to forced abortions and a reported glut of new born boys from the s onwards.
Inthe government ended the policy and allowed couples to Single men china two children. However, the reform has failed to reverse the country's falling birth rate despite a two-year increase immediately afterwards. Experts say it is also because the relaxing of the policy did not come with other changes that support family life - such as monetary support for education or access to childcare facilities.
Many people simply cannot afford to raise children amid the rising costs of living, they say.
She added that the notion of what makes a person successful has also changed in China - at least for those living in big cities. No longer is it defined by traditional markers in life such as getting married and having children - instead, it's about personal growth.
Women in particular are still expected to be the primary caregiver due to gender norms. While China does in Single men china have 14 days of paternity leave, it is uncommon for men to take it - and even rarer for them to be full-time fathers. Such fears may lead to women not wanting to have kids if they feel that it could dampen their career prospects, Dr Mu said. On Chinese social media, the issue is a hot topic, with the hashtag " why this generation of young people are unwilling to have babies " being than million times on microblogging platform Weibo.
Who would dare have kids in this situation?
While some cities have extended maternity leave benefits in recent years, giving women the option to apply for leave beyond the standard 98 days, people say it has only contributed to workplace gender discrimination. In March, a female job applicant in Chongqing was forced by a potential employer to guarantee that she would quit her job as soon as she got pregnant.
Birth restrictions are expected to be lifted entirely in the near future, with sources telling Reuters that it may happen in the Single men china three to five years.
But some have called for China to scrap its birth control policies immediately. But some experts point out the need to tread carefully, calling out the huge disparity between city dwellers and rural people. As much as women living in expensive cities such as Beijing and Shanghai may wish to delay or avoid childbirth, those in the countryside are likely to still follow tradition and want large families, they say.
It seems there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but demography expert Dr Jiang Quanbao from Xi'an Jiaotong University is optimistic that it is still possible for China to reverse its population woes. While fertility rates are sliding, the rate is "still elastic" because it remains the societal norm for the Chinese to get married and have children, he said.
Provided that there are more measures to support families in childcare and education, for example, there is hope for change: "It is not too late. My mother would be so happy to hear this," she said.
China: the men who are single and the women who don't want kids
China's population grows at slowest pace in decades. How do you convince people to have babies? The data speaks for itself.
Mothers, your country needs you! The severe gender imbalance.
All the single men
Is it too late to reverse the situation? Related Topics. More on this story. Published 11 May. Published 16 May.