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85% Concerns About 'Wife Shortage'
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Out of 2,603 respondents from 29 provinces and municipalities, as much as 88 percent of people from rural areas said they were worried about the extent to which males outnumbered females.

China's male population outnumbers that of females by 37 million, the most uneven in the world, of which males aged between zero and 15 are 18 million more than females, the China Youth Daily quoted government statistics as saying.

Statistics from the Information Office of the State Council show the sex ratio for newborns is 119 boys to 100 girls and the figure is more alarming in provinces such as Jiangxi, Guangdong, Anhui and Henan, where it stands at 130 to 88.

Tian Jianguo, a 68-year-old respondent, said, "How can my grandson find a wife in the future?"

Officials from the central government are concerned about the social problems brought by the gender imbalance, which reduces millions of males to bachelors each year around the country.

Crimes such as abduction of women and human-trafficking are haunting the areas with the greatest gender imbalance, an official from the State Family Planning Commission said recently.

Sex-selection abortions aided by ultrasonic scanning was blamed by the respondents as the main cause for China's gender imbalance.

Over 15 percent of respondents said many of their relatives and friends had used ultrasonic scanning to select the sex of their babies.

(Xinhua News Agency July 18, 2007)

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