Sunday, April 12, 2009

Department of Ungood Statistics

by Smitty

via Digg, here is a NYT article citing a British Medical Journal article about China's worsening demographic imabalance:
In 2005 , they found, births of boys in China exceeded births of girls by more than 1.1 million. There were 120 boys born for every 100 girls.
This disparity seems to surpass that of any other country, they said — a finding, they wrote, that was perhaps unsurprising in light of China’s one-child policy.
*squawk*Unintended consequences of government intervention*squawk*
More to the point, where do those strapping lads go for, you know, wives?
Bad as the current situation looks, we can take some left-handed comfort in knowing that, in the out decades, the current challenges shall likely seem a breeze.


  1. In the Muslim world, polygamy generates a similar imbalance between young men and available brides. A great deal of violence in the Muslim world derives from this imbalance. China can expect interesting times in the near future. Unfortunately, like Muslim violence, it may spill over to the larger world.

  2. This has happened before in China, and in recent times. Back in the late 40's, they had a bountiful crop of fine young lads but few females, depriving the young men of potential wives. It caused some unrest in some regions so Mao put his thinking cap on. Next thing you know, he's sending tens of thousands of these young men to the front lines of Korea. There, the Chinese employed human wave tactics and there is still no reliable estimate of China's true
    war dead from that conflict. I've
    read estimates as high as a million which probably didn't ease the bachelor problem by much. I
    think Mao settled on another approach to take care of those not wiped out in the human waves.

    China right now has the largest standing army in the world and
    a military with advanced weapons.

    Guess they'll be getting some more recruits soon. Question is, where
    will they use the human wave tactics this time?

    I could guess a few but why spoil the mystery?


  4. China's unprecedented demographics present a bit of a puzzle - that's what that "unprecedented" usually means.

    An excess of young males is normally associated with aggression. Of course, foreign women start looking real good.

    OTOH, national aggression is usually related to the ratio of young men to older men. Countries that are at or below replacement levels tend to be very reluctant to fight as we see in modern Europe. Countries with excess replacements tend to be very aggressive.

    China is unique in now fitting in both categories. Not only are they developing a significant male population that cannot get dates, but that male population are spoiled by growing up with no brothers or sisters to share or compete with, no cousins and are doted upon by two undistracted parents and all four grandparents.

    Who knows what the hell sort of person this will produce. I'm pretty sure it isn't good.