China's bachelors staying single longer
Updated: 2013-07-04 11:11
Kang Zhiming and his girlfriend Meng Xue have fun with a giant toy bear at Oriental Plaza in Beijing's Wangfujing Street. Zou Hong / China Daily
China's single women are often the topic of discussion when it comes to marriage. But now more of the country's bachelors are staying single longer.
For Fu Donghe hitting the weights is a necessity. He says looking good is not only part of his job as a model but also important for meeting women.
At 28 years old, Fu is still single and well aware of how that's viewed in Chinese society.
Fu represents a growing number of marriage-aged men who are single in China. According to the most recent census data, China is home to an estimated 11 million single men between the ages of 30 and 39. Fu says China's economic development is creating more lifestyle options for people his age, making it harder to find a compatible partner.
Twenty nine year-old activities director Mao Xinyu is also single. He says a big reason is society's expectations about what makes a suitable husband.
"Buying a house in Beijing is really expensive, but people are still expected to own one before getting married. If you can't afford it then you have to put off getting married until you can." said Mao.
The demographic is often referred to as "leftover men". But while the term carries a negative connotation, Mao says there is less pressure for men to marry now compared to previous generations. Population statistics indicate another challenge for Chinese men when it comes to finding a wife.
"There is a large gender gap in China. In the past, 100 baby girls were born for every 120 boys. As a result, men are now having a hard time meeting women." said Li Yinhe, sociologist of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Li says she expects this increasing trend of more Chinese men staying single to continue.
As finding a wife becomes more difficult, China's number of older bachelors is on the rise. While still referred to as "leftover men" the question now is, will society adapt and become more accepting of this growing demographic.
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