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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.

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