Sex Ratio at Birth in 195 Countries and Territories: An Analysis From the Global Burden of Disease 2017 Study

Vinay Srinivasan , Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington
Charlton Callender, Institute for Health Metrics And Evaluation - University of Washington
Paulami Naik, Institute for Health Metrics And Evaluation - University of Washington
Bryan Strub, Seattle Children's Hospital

The sex ratio at birth (SRB) provides key insight into the future trajectories of populations. In many exercises of population reconstruction and projection, demographers make simplifying assumptions about sex ratios at birth that lack validity. Here we propose a model for the SRB that draws strength from all globally available data and uses standardized methods to produce country-level estimates for the period 1950 to 2017. We find that three regions in particular—the Caucasus, South Asia, and East Asia presently show the largest male preferences; importantly, India and China rank among the highest countries. We also find that even though, sex ratios at birth have largely started to fall back down to equilibrium, the effects of early peaks are starting to become apparent. Extreme sex ratios at birth from the 1980s and 1990s have strong influences on present net reproductive rate, and these ramifications will persist for decades to come.

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 Presented in Session 3. Population, Development, & the Environment; Data & Methods; Applied Demography