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Changing Age Demographics in China
May 22, 2019
by Sim Chi Yin
China’s “one-child policy” was in place from 1979 until 2005. During these years, most couples were limited to giving birth to a single child though those living in rural areas were permitted to have a second child if their first was a daughter.
This decades-long practice has resulted in a substantial gender imbalance in the population: there are many more men than women. Due to this, there’s a substantial population of aging “bare branch” bachelors - older men who will never marry.
The story is different for China’s “snow birds”: retiree couples who move to the country’s warmer regions such as the Hainan Islands (“China’s “Florida”).

On the other end of the age-spectrum are the children who’ve been born since the one-child policy was terminated. Despite the end of this policy, Mr. Sang You and Ms. Ma Rui, parents of a 2 1/2 year old, prefer to dedicate all their attentions to their single child and not give birth to another.

Sim Chi Yin documented the subject of age in China’s post one-child era for TIME.