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Risky Business: Leftover Men Vs. Leftover Women (Infographic)

Why, how, and what? The 'leftover' phenomenon illustrated.


Risky Business: Leftover Men Vs. Leftover Women (Infographic)

Why, how, and what? The 'leftover' phenomenon illustrated.


You have probably heard enough about the “leftover women” phenomenon in China, as it is a problem that concerns millions of single Chinese women (and their parents) everyday. Even”leftover men“, with less pressure from family and society, have become increasingly alarmed because of the discrepancy between the number of males and females in China.

Sohu has created a great infographic illustrating and breaking down how the “leftover men” and “leftover women” phenomenon can be a risky business, which is translated into English below.

Men and Women in Danger

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According to statistics from The Sixth National Population Census of the People’s Republic of China, the unmarried population in China from the age of 30 to 39 looks like this:

Men: 11,960,000

Women: 5,820,000

Starting from 2013, there will be around 1.2 million bachelors every year. By the year 2020, China will have 30 million bachelors.

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“Leftover” Differences Between Men and Women

Leftover woman: High level education, high salary, “high age” (around 30 years old)

Their standard for matchmaking: The man needs to be rich. (37% women regard salary as significant)

  • Metropolitan areas such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, have the most leftover women.
  • Over 48% have a master’s degree or above.
  • 36% have a monthly salary of over 15,000 yuan.

Leftover men: 49% of them have no car, no property, a low level of education, and a low salary.

Their standard: Having beauty is good enough. (51% of males regard looks as significant)

  • Guangxi, Guangdong, and Jiangxi province have the most leftover men.
  • Over 37% have a master’s degree or above.
  • Over 29% have a monthly salary of over 15,000 yuan, 30% have a monthly salary lower than 2,000, 16% have no income.

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Why have they become leftover?

1. Unbalanced birth sex-ratio:

Traditional ideals: In rural areas, when the first born is a girl, families can have another child.

In 2012, for every 100 girls that are born, 117 boys are born. In a small village in Gansu, the number of boys per 100 girls is 209.

2. Difficulty in bridging the distance between leftover men and women:

The likelihood for a “diaosi” or leftover man to wed a higher-class leftover woman is 0%.

On the social strata, leftover men are on the bottom, often in poverty. Leftover women over 30 who cannot find a husband are on the top. Usually in a marriage, the Chinese societal concept is that the man is one level superior to the woman, so those on the top and bottom therefore are “leftover”.

3. Age difference:

Often men over 30 years old seek younger women, the most common match is Mature Man & Young Woman. Thus, older women and younger men are leftover.

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Five potential “killers” that endanger the lives of leftover men and women:

1. Illnesses:

Leftover women are too proud: 46% have breast hyperplasia; 41% have cervicitis.

Leftover women have low self-esteem: recurring psychological disorders.

2. Pressure: 75% are troubled by negative emotions:

  • 22.2%: loneliness
  • 30%: anxiety
  • 13.9%: lack of interest
  • 8.9%: other

3. Sexual repression:

  • 17.5%: Have a regular sex partner
  • 31.4%: Masturbate
  • 21.6%: Are chronically repressed
  • 9.8% have one-night stands, 7.8% opt for prostitution, 3.9% use sex products

4. Lifestyle:

  • Stay up late, insomnia, lack of sleep
  • Excessive smoking and drinking
  • Binge eating and drinking at night (which lead to intestinal diseases, fatty liver disease, and obesity)

5. Threats for the next generation:

30% miss the best age to give birth. Children of women who give birth after the age of 35 are 20 times more likely to have a mental disabilities or birth defects.

Economist Lena Edlund estimates that every 1% increase in the sex ratio leads to 6% increase in violence and property related crimes.


For both men and women, being “leftover” is a sensitive issue. Here are some netizen responses:


This is an inaccurate title. Men are leftover because the women suck, and women are leftover because they themselves suck; most leftover men are leftover because they want to find true love, most women are leftover because they go for the money instead of love! Most importantly, there are some great men among leftover men, maybe the best in the world, but what about the women? Leftover women suck, it’d be alright if they abuse other things, but the problem is they abuse sex. Conclusion: leftover men are not dangerous, leftover women are the real dangerous ones.


Based on what you just said, one knows that you are a real leftover man, and lowest of them.


Agreed, don’t even reply to this kind of idiot guy.


There are still a lot of girls who don’t have hukou!!!


Reward every female baby with 100,000 yuan, then let’s see if the sex ratio will change.


Why do most couples want a boy? Especially in rural areas? The main reason is that a boy is responsible for taking care of the elderly and continuing the family line. Part of that is because many Chinese still have these old beliefs, and another is that in our country (rural areas especially), the only dependence for the old is their children. The state won’t take care of them, they will starve if they depend on the state.


Don’t make it sound so scary. Women, being single is not the worst situation. The worse situation is marrying the wrong guy. The worst situation is marrying the wrong guy and not being able to get a divorce.
Masturbation is not scary either. You are not harming the society.
Don’t get married just for the sake of getting married. That definitely will be a mistake.


This is because of the distorted societal values. At school, teachers always like those with good grades, but in society, people with the best grades don’t go far. At home, parents only like those who are obedient. Then after their children step into the real world, they complain that they are not smart enough, can’t decide for themselves, and always listen to others. Society is filled with money, career, power and those superficial things. Actually, finding that one person is easy, just be true to yourself. But so many people add too many criteria in love and marriage, such as house, cars, career, and wealth. That’s why it’s become so difficult. More divorces, and more single people.