S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Development and Society Vol.32 No.1/2 (2003)
Patterns and Variation in the Sex Ratio at Birth in the Republic of Korea
- Wu, Julie Juan; Kim, Han Gon; Poston, Dudley L. Jr
- Issue Date
- Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
- Development and Society, Vol.32 No.1, pp. 47-60
- In this paper, we examine sex ratio patterns at birth (SRB) among sub-areas of South Korea during the 1990s. We report higher than biologically normal SRBs at varying levels of geography, for three years in the 1990s. These high SRBs are mainly due to prenatal sex identification followed by female-specific induced abortion. This strategy has been implemented in the Republic of Korea following the country’'s dramatic reduction in fertility. Higher than biologically normal sex ratios at birth carry important implications for the society’'s males and females, particularly a few decades after their births, when young people begin to exercise marriage options. We estimate that approximately 25 years after 1990, around 2015, approximately 10 to 13 percent of marriage-age males in South Korea will be unsuccessful in their courtship pursuits. In 2015, there could be as many as 400,000 South Korean men of marriageable ages unable to find wives. We explore implications of this unbalanced marriage market for South Korea and its excess male population.
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