GUANGZHOU: Men, where are you? Hundreds of thousands of women over 30 in this southern city are single and many are seeking marriage, according to a new survey.
The survey, part of a research project concerned with population and social development issues in Guangdong Province, investigated marriage trends in Guangzhou.
Findings indicated that 300,000 Guangzhou women, above the age of 30, are single, while single men only number 200,000.
In China, it is common for people to marry before 30.
Guan Xiufang, a researcher of Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, said it was more difficult for single women over 30 to find a spouse than it was for men of the same age group.
"This problem emerged as early as the beginning of 1980s, but the reasons have been different in different periods," Guan said.
In 1970s and 1980s, many young urban people had to go work in the countryside or mountain areas because of the Cultural Revolution.
"Many women did not want to get married and settle down in rural places. Therefore, they remained single into their thirties," Guan said.
Perhaps today women holding off on getting married, because they are being more selective about their potential partners.
"They are too picky or too busy to find ideal spouses when they are of a normal marrying age," Luo Tingting, a woman working for a marriage matching company, said.
"Then, when they are old they are not as 'competitive' as the younger women." She said most men who have the qualities women prefer would rather marry girls who are young and pretty, not older ones.
About 70 percent of the people who have sought help from marriage matching companies are women, and most of them are 30 or older, Luo said.
The marriage trends are not exclusive to Guangzhou. The survey said the number of single people who are in or above normal marrying age has exceeded 1 million in Shanghai and Beijing.
Zhang Jianwu, the leader of the survey said the family planning policy advocated marrying at a mature age, but does not encourage getting married too late or staying single for an entire lifetime.
"Getting married at a normal marrying age should be advocated," he said.