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March 27, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

Males' number eases a little in boy-girl ratio

THE city's boy-heavy gender imbalance continued to decline last year, the second consecutive drop since 2000.

However, the gender ratio for newborns among permanent residents and migrant people was still higher than it should be, officials from Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission said yesterday.

The gender ratio last year was 113.7 boys for every 100 girls among permanent residents, which consist of registered population and migrants staying in the city for over six months.

In 2008, it had been 114.8 boys to 100 girls.

People with registered residency, the city's most stable population, kept a healthy natural gender ratio: 105.7 boys to 100 girls last year, 0.8 points lower than in 2008. The natural distribution of boys to girls ranges from 103:100 to 107:100.

Migrant people are always the most difficult group for the authorities to control in terms of boy-heavy imbalance, since most of them are from rural areas and more likely to follow the traditional Chinese thinking that considers boys more precious than girls.

However, the migrants' rate also fell 1 point, to 120.9 boys to every 100 girls.

"The decline of gender imbalance reflected effects after we perfected a database on population management, promoted education and introduced more girl-favoring subsidies and projects and continued to shut illegal clinics carrying out gender checks on fetuses and unlicensed abortion," said Xie Lingli, director of Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission.

Local police said they stopped 37 cases involving illegal medical practices last year, and one case dealing with illegal contraceptive surgery, catching 49 suspects.

Amending the six-year-old Shanghai Population and Family Planning Rule is on the agenda of Shanghai People's Congress, the city's lawmaking body, officials said.

Local authorities intend to promote more family planning, reproductive services, education and favorable policies to help reverse the gender imbalance, officials said.

Vice Mayor Zhao Wen said the authorities should implement population policies in line with Shanghai reality.

"The premarital check, prenatal check and congenital disease screening for newborn babies are effective measures that we can improve population quality, and we must spend more efforts on these works this year," she said.

The city's permanent residents are expected to reach 19.5 million this year, about 286,800 more than in 2009. They are forecast to have 165,000 children this year, for a birth rate of 0.85 percent.


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