Estimate of China’s Sex-Selective Abortions

Quanbao Jiang, Institute for Population and development Studies, Xi'an Jiaotong University
Mei Li , Institute for Population and Development Studies, School of Public and Andministration, Xi’an Jiaotong University

Sex-selective abortion has been under-examined in comparison with the implications of China’s high sex ratio at birth, which has aroused hot debate. In this paper, using official data and several indicators, we examine the sex-selective abortions of female fetuses in past decades in China. We find that the annual number of selective abortions rose from 1980 onwards and stayed at around 1 million per year in the 1990s and 2000s. The number of selective abortions between 1980 and 2017 totals 28.66 million. The abortion of second-order female fetuses makes up the largest proportion of the total sex-selective abortions. While selective abortions among village populations made up the majority of all selective abortions, the proportion of urban selective abortion has risen markedly with rapid urbanization and convergence of sex ratio at birth. Different provinces have a different number and proportion of selective abortions.

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 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session Fertility, Family and the Life Course