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Fertility and Sex Ratios at Birth in China: The Effects of Parity and the Sex Composition of Previous Children, Based on Ethnic Comparisons in Xinjiang

Publication Abstract

Anderson, Barbara A., and Brian D. Silver. "Fertility and Sex Ratios at Birth in China: The Effects of Parity and the Sex Composition of Previous Children, Based on Ethnic Comparisons in Xinjiang." PSC Research Report No. 94-301. January 1994.

This study uses data from the 1990 Census of China for Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region to examine phenomena that to date have been examined primarily at the national level: fertility of women who already have at least one surviving child and high sex-ratios at birth. Comparing data for Uighurs, Kazakhs, Hui, and Han, it find enormous differences in fertility rates between the nationalities in their presence of high levels of fertility control. It also finds that for all four nationalities the extent of fertility control is gender-dependent. Women who had no previous sons or who had many daughters were likely to continue to try to have children even at ages and at parities past which they would normally have stopped childbearing. Finally, disproportionately feminine sex ratios at birth are found for couples who have had several sons and no daughters. Hence, researchers interested in the question of unusual sex-ratios at birth in China need to account for "missing boys" as well as "missing girls."

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