Latest News:  

English>>China Society

Leftover men without means likely to stay single

By Tan Weiyun   (Shanghai Daily)

10:05, March 21, 2013

Anxious Chinese parents exchange contact information of their "leftover" unwed children at a matchmaking corner in People's Square in Shanghai.(Photo by Wang Rongjiang/ Shanghai Daily)

China's older unmarried women - disparagingly called "leftover" at age 27 - get a lot of attention, but there are far more older single men. If they have money, they're "golden bachelors." Tan Weiyun reports.

Alex Zhu hates to be called a "leftover man" (sheng nan 剩男), a disparaging term for single men aged from 28 to more than 40. Many are eager to marry and start a family, but can't afford wedlock. Some are waiting for the right woman.

The scornful term "leftover" is more often associated with single women age 27 and older - they also come in for names like "moldy tofu" - and it's worse for women because even "leftover" men want younger women to bear a child.

But these unwed men are also called "bare branches," so far unable to perform the highest filial duty of providing a son and heir.

"I'm not left over. Yes, I'm desperate for a happy marriage and kids of my own, and I've got great pressure from parents, but I won't rush into marriage until I find the right one I truly love and respect," says the 29-year-old civil servant in Minhang District. "In addition, I really enjoy my single life now."

China's male preference and family planning policy result in a skewed birth ratio of around 118 males for every 100 females, according to China's sixth and latest census figures. That has grave implications for the shrinking labor pool, social services and care for the elderly, growth of a consumer middle class - and the marriage prospects of tens of millions of men who cannot find a wife.

As a matter of fact, Zhu is one of 12 million unmarried men aged from 29 to 39 in China, according to census.

It also reports there are 5.82 million single women in the same age range.

According to the census, every 136 men for 100 women born after 1980 are unmarried. In the unmarried group born between 1970 to 1980, there are 206 men for every 100 women.

【1】 【2】

We Recommend:

China's weekly story (2013.3.9-3.15)

Painting a tattoo on body with your own style

Modern life of Chinese elderly

Young & confident: 'We want to fly'

Brave young mother in the 4th year of university

China cities put on spring style

What house can you buy with 1m yuan?

Seeking a dream wedding at Beijing Wedding Expo

Girls who live like boys, play like boys

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:GaoYinan、Chen Lidan)

Related Reading

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Terrorist attack cracked

  2. Radar station of East China Sea Fleet

  3. Thousand-Buddha Cliff in Lhasa

  4. Cheap chopsticks may be toxic, expert says

  5. Cute dolphins nursed and trained in HK

  6. Apiarists busy with keeping bees

  7. Written-off vehicles-turned transformers

  8. Tang Wei: She's no Barbie

  9. Microsoft launches online store on Tmall

  10. Train tickets may cost more than air travel

Most Popular


  1. Commentary: To pivot to Asia or peace?
  2. Lavish behavior punished
  3. Migration part of global development
  4. CCTV in hot water after corporate exposé backfires
  5. Cultural parks no substitute for talent
  6. Planning vital to diplomacy
  7. Loopholes for rich make estate tax meaningless
  8. How to start transformation and upgrading?
  9. Bigger does not always mean better for megacities
  10. Railway ministry revamp will not impact ratings

What’s happening in China

Spring snow blankets Beijing

  1. Residents brace for another cold spell
  2. Recycled water flows to south Beijing
  3. Official turns big profit on graveyard
  4. Health service hotline operational in 26 provinces
  5. Police crack major car theft network