CHINA> Regional
Men want babies more: Survey
By Cao Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-10-24 09:45

SHANGHAI: In Shanghai, men are more willing than women to have a baby, a recent survey has revealed.

A polling of more than 12,000 Shanghai residents - and equal numbers of men and women - found an overall decline in couples' willingness to have a baby, Shanghai Municipal Population and Family Planning Commission announced Thursday.

Among them, people from Shanghai are more unwilling than those from other provinces, and women are more unwilling than men.

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Among the 8,000 from Shanghai, nearly 8 percent are unwilling to have a baby - 3.37 percentage points higher than in 2003. Among the 4,000 from other provinces who have stayed in Shanghai for at least six months, 2.49 percent are unwilling to have a baby - 1.1 percentage points higher than in 2004.

In a multiple-choice question, 52.99 percent said they are unwilling because of the high cost, and 48.28 percent said they would rather stick to a family of two. Some 35.1 percent said they don't want a baby to affect their career development.

The willingness decreases with income. Woman are more unwilling, according to the survey conducted in May.

Of the 8,000 Shanghai permanent residents, a man, on average, wants 1.08 children and a woman, on average, wants 1.06.

Xu Xiaobo, 31, who is running a business with her husband, said they are getting ready to have a baby.

"My husband wants a baby more than me. He told me it would be amazing to have a baby looking just like him," she said.

"As for me, I don't mind postponing that until a bit later when our operation reaches a stable stage."

Xu Anqi, a sociologist with Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said that she does not observe major differences between men and women in willingness to have a baby, but admits that having a baby means a bigger lifestyle change to a woman than to a man.

The decrease of the overall willingness to have a baby is from the pressure of living in big cities and the increasing costs of raising a baby.

"A drop in willingness to have a baby is seen in most big cities," she said.

Parents want their children to go to the best schools so they can get a well-paid job, she said. "A woman, who normally takes the main responsibility of taking care of a child, will have to sacrifice more of her career and life for a child."