Are there more women or men on earth?

According to the United Nations, there are more men than women on the planet today. Of the 7.4 billion people, over 60 million more people are male than female (as of March 2017). The main reason for this imbalance is the numerical disparity between the sexes at birth: for every 100 girls born, there are approximately 105 boys. But preference for the birth of a boy in less developed countries could also have led to this imbalance.

Gender specific age expectation

With advancing age, however, the gender ratio within the age groups changes. Because men die faster than women because of their lower life expectancy. In an “older” population with a relatively high proportion of old people – such as in the populations of European countries and the USA – there are therefore more women than men.

In a population with a lower life expectancy and, more importantly, higher fertility, the proportion of young age groups is significantly higher. Young people form the broad base of the population pyramid in many developing countries. In these young age groups there are more boys than girls and therefore more men than women overall.

Women “missing” – effect of discrimination

Discrimination against girls and women leads to a serious disparity between the numbers of men and women in some regions of the world. In Asia, for example, there is a clear surplus of men. In India, for example, statistically speaking, there are 102 male births for every 100 female births.

The birth of a girl is still seen as a burden by many Indian families, mainly because parents traditionally have to pay a dowry when their daughter marries. Therefore, many parents prefer terminating a  pregnancy to having  a girl. Girls are also poorly fed and medically cared for than their brothers. 


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