Patterns and Determinants of Permanent Bachelorhood, 20th Century China

Dwight R. Davis, University of California, Los Angeles

The China marriage literature has been primarily concerned with historical trends in female marriage, due to its strong link with fertility change. Historical patterns of male marriage have received less attention. This paper will help fill a gap in the literature by examining the patterns and determinants of permanent bachelorhood (the never married 40+ male population). This topic is especially relevant now given the high levels of bachelorhood projected for future cohorts, one of the unintended consequences of China’s one child fertility policy. Using recent China census data I will model the determinants of permanent bachelorhood and describe its regional variation. Preliminary results show there has been a strong socioeconomic gradient to permanent bachelorhood as well as significant regional variation in its occurrence.

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Presented in Session 134: Non-Marital and Diverse Family Forms