The Point: Empty Nests in China

Lots of empty nests these days in China.

With nearly 1.4 billion people and one-fifth of the entire human race, it may surprise you to learn there are 50 million empty houses in China. By “empty” I don’t mean “abandoned” or “uninhabitable.” They have owners, and by Chinese standards are perfectly acceptable places to live.

So why are they empty?

China’s “one-child policy,” which was in place for decades before being slightly modified, combined with the Chinese preference for boys, created a gender imbalance. The number of never-married men in their thirties in China is now larger than the population of Canada.

This means that competition for wives is fierce. To even stand a chance, a potential groom must own a home. Thus, families often chip in to buy lonely Chinese bachelors a concrete-and-steel-advantage in the marriage lottery.

But empty structures aren’t the only way that China’s “one-child policy” has come up empty.

Demographics shapes destiny, and denying this truth never ends well. We in the West should take note.

Resources

Why 50 Million Chinese Homes are Empty
  • PolyMatter | Youtube video | December 14, 2018

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