• A man strolls along a waterfront boardwalk facing factories and a shipbuilding yard in Dalian, China.

A man strolls along a waterfront boardwalk facing factories and a shipbuilding yard in Dalian, China. (Photo : Getty Images)

In most countries, single women outnumber men, but not in China.

In China, apart from single men outnumbering women, they are also having a hard time marrying.

Reportedly, these singletons would often go to extremes of renting a fake partner or girlfriend just to show their families they’re not alone and to stop them from pressuring them to get married.

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This was revealed by Dr. Xuan Li, assistant professor of Psychology at New York University Shanghai, in an article published at Today Online.

The 2010 national census data suggest that 24.7 percent of Chinese men above the age of 15 have never been married, while 18.5 percent of women in the same group remain unwed.

For men between 20 and 24 years old, 84 percent have never been married, which is 15 percentage points more than women of the same age. There is a similar gap between men and women with 25 to 29 years old.

The gap drops to about six points among men in their 30s and less than four points for those in their 40s or older.

Dr. Xu partly attributed this surplus of men to the one-child policy and preference for male children.

One child policy was implemented in 1979 to solve the burgeoning population of China. Back then, if a woman was pregnant with her second child, she will be asked to abort the child or pay a fine.

Also, families prefer male children over female so they will either abort the baby girl, infanticide, or give the baby away.

That explains why there’s a deficit of 20 million people in the coming decades for men of marrying age.

However, some researchers revealed that the sex birth ratio might not be as skewed as all that as there were reports of “missing” girls who were unregistered at birth in official records.

Researchers have found that millions of “hidden girls” turned up in later statistics by examining multiple waves of census data.

But even then, there’s still an extreme 118:100 sex birth ratio, resulting in a huge number of single Chinese men.

Apart from the demographics, there’s the new generations of Chinese women, who now make up 45 percent of the country’s workforce and do not really see marriage for financial stability.

Chinese women nowadays are more educated and have promising careers, making it a threat to men who are not that educated and economically stable.

“If they play nice and work with women to push for gender equality, perhaps there is hope for the bare branches (or guanggun, involuntary bachelors who fail to add fruit to their family trees) yet,” concluded Dr. Xuan.