A mutual preference for baby boys

August 22, 2011

Imagine what it would be like to live in the United States if the population was China’s 1,339,724,852, which is 4.3 times the population of the US.

According to the US Bureau of Transit Statistics, there were 255,917,664 vehicles registered for use on the highways in the
US in 2008.

Multiply that number by 4.3 and we might have more than 1 billion vehicles on US roads today if our population matched China’s.

What would your commute to work look like if you lived in a city such as Los Angeles, New York or Chicago, but there were four times as many vehicles on the roads?

At this point, as a reader, you may be wondering what the significance of this post’s title is, which was influenced from an article, Americans Like Baby Boys Best, written by Stephanie Pappas for “Live Science”.

Pappas wrote, “If they (US families) were only allowed to have one child, more Americans would prefer it be a boy rather than a girl, a new survey finds.”

For China, providing enough food has always been a challenge since China’s arable land covers about 15% of total land area, but China’s 300 million farmers today rank first in worldwide farm output. Source: Agriculture in China (Wikipedia).

America, on the other hand, is blessed with farmland covering about 41% of total land area. Source: USDA

Between 108 BC and 1911 AD, there were no fewer than 1,828 major famines in China. In fact, four of those famines happened between 1810 and 1849 killing about 45 million. Source: List of famines (Wikipedia)

Then between 1959 to 1961, during The Great Chinese Famine (according to Chinese government statistics) about 15 million died while unofficial estimates of scholars puts the toll between 20 to 43 million that may have starved to death.

However, the United States has never suffered a famine. If people in the US go hungry, it is not because there isn’t enough food. It is because those people live in poverty and do not have enough money to buy food.

When Americans criticize China’s one-child policy, remember, China has survived about 1,800 major famines in the last 2,000 years and five of those famines killed 88 million.

However, the US and China do seem to have one thing in common. Most Chinese also prefer baby boys to girls. Have you ever watched a child starve?

To discover more facts about China’s one-child policy, visit One Child, The One-Child Tragedy, Exemptions in China’s ‘one-child policy’, Reversing China’s “one-child” Policy, and Avoiding China’s “one-child” Policy


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.