Being a single man in rural China

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Those who are single in rural China are almost exclusively men. The presence of excess men in the population combines with internal migration and women's quest for upward social mobility through marriage to explain this phenomenon. The DefiChine survey sheds light on the situation of single men in three rural districts of Shaanxi. One of its findings is that, although the shortage of women does create competition between men looking for a wife, the social and economic dimensions of male singlehood cannot be ignored.


  • Isabelle Attané
  • DefiChine research team
  • Tania Angeloff
  • Michel Bozon
  • Lisa Eklund
  • Giovanna M. Merli
  • Thierry Pairault
  • Su Wang
  • Li Shuzhuo
  • Yang Xueyan
  • Wang Sasa
  • Li Weidong
  • Yang Bo
  • Zhang Qunlin
External organisations
  • Duke University
  • Institut National d' Études Démographiques (INED)
  • University Of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
  • EHESS Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
  • Xi'an Jiaotong University
  • Xi'an Polytechnic University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)


  • Male singlehood, Rural China, Sex imbalance, Sexual behaviour, Social norms
Original languageEnglish
Article number557
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalPopulation and Societies
Issue number557
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1
Publication categoryResearch

Related projects

Isabelle Attané & Lisa Eklund

Project: Research

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