Despite China seeing its highest number of births in nearly two decades, China's gender imbalance still remains an issue.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that the number of births was 17.86 million in 2016, an increase of 1.31 million (or 7.9 percent) from 2015. That is the highest its been since 2000.
That figure differs from data reported by the Department of Community Family Planning — part of the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) — which announced on Sunday that the number of births in 2016 was 18.46 million, an 11.5 percent increase from 2015. (A spokesperson for the NHFPC explained the difference was due to the fact that they gathered information directly from hospitals, rather than sampling surveys like the NBS did; both methods are considered legitimate).
In any case, the growth was attributed to the introduction of the two-child policy, as 45 percent of newborns were non-first children, according to the NHFPC. Non-first child births accounted for 30 percent of the total in 2013.
Despite the introduction of the policy, however, gender imbalance remains an issue, with males outnumbering females by a ratio of approximately 104.98 to 100. China's male population stands at 708.15 million while its female population is around 674.56 million, according to NBS figures.
[Image via Al Jazeera]