China has the world’s most imbalanced sex ratio, the World Economic Forum has found.
In its Global Gender Gap Report for 2016, the organization saw China at the bottom of 144 countries for sex ratio at birth for the second consecutive year.
The country also slipped eight spots in terms of overall gender equality. This year, it ranked 99, down from 91 in 2015.
The report focused on relative gaps between women and men across health, education, economy and politics.
China’s gender gap hit an all-time high in 2004, when there were 121.2 boys born for every 100 girls. Some provinces even saw up to 130.
According to South China Morning Post, demographer Liang Zhongtang, from the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, claimed that the actual sex ratio at birth is difficult to determine unless the birth control policy meets an absolute end.
Liang said some parents in the 1980s — the beginning years of the one-child policy — had a second child who was a girl and refused to tell authorities. Later in life, these girls were included in official statistics as they required social services.
To Liang, it “explained why the skewed sex ratio at birth was adjusted by an older age group later.”