Human Sex Ratio at Birth

A look at the ratio of boys and girls born in each country.

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Map of the human sex ratio at birth per country.

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The normal sex ratio at birth for humans, is surprisingly not 100:100. Although debated, most scientist consider the 103-107 range to be the natural human sex ratio range. That is 103/107 male births for every 100 female births. One of the possible reasons slightly more boys are being born, is the fact that infant mortality is significantly higher in boys than girls.

For the total global population, the sex ratio is fairly balanced. There are 101 males for every 100 females.

As we can see, the vast majority of countries fall within the 103-107 range. A small number of countries falls slightly outside of this range. Six countries are clearly far outside of this range.

Three of these countries, Liechtenstein, Nauru and the Northern Mariana Islands, have a very small population and only a few hundred births every year. This could be a possible explanation for these numbers. A slightly higher number of male or female births, can already lead to a strongly skewed ratio.

In China and India, the sex ratio has a clearer cause. In both societies, boys are more highly veered, leading to sex-selective abortion and infanticide. Due to the one-child policy in China, some female births also are under-reported or unreported. The skewed sex ratio in these two countries clearly has a societal/cultural cause and not a natural cause.

Another country that stands out is Kazakhstan. It has a very low sex ratio, with only 94 male births for every 100 female births. Unlike India and China, there doesn’t seem to be a very clear cause for this number.

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