NPR logo Why China's Housing Boom Means Fewer Unwanted Girls


Why China's Housing Boom Means Fewer Unwanted Girls

There are more young men than young women in China. That's the result of China's one-child policy, combined with gender-selective abortion driven by a traditional cultural preference for boys over girls.

But that imbalance may be changing.

Part of the reason, according to the FT: Parents typically have to buy an apartment or a house for a son before he can be married off. And China's real estate boom (bubble?) is making that much harder for many families.

"My husband and I don't earn much and I can't imagine how we can buy a flat for a son," Zhang Aiqin of Zhejiang province tells the FT.

There are, of course, other reasons for the apparent shift toward greater gender balance. A recent World Bank paper cited public policies that address the issue; one program is explicitly designed "to improve the environment for girls' survival and development."

For more: The surplus of men on China's marriage market has been cited as one reason that Chinese people save so much. Here's more on that argument.