Friday, January 19, 2024

Gender Imbalance in South Caucasus has Risen since 1991 while Birthrates There have Fallen, New Study Finds

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 19 – In Soviet times, high birthrates in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia were in part the result of parental desires for sons and the willingness to have more children to get them given that gender selective abortions were rarely available. That pushed the birthrate up, according to a new study by an international team of experts.

            But now that gender selective abortions are available, it reports, parents can select the gender of their children without needing to have more of them, thus contributing to a decline in birthrates (CESifo Working Paper, No. 10516 (2023) summarized and discussed at

            Until the 1990s, Armenians, Azerbaijanis and Georgians all were close to the international relationship of genders at birth, 105 boys to 100 girls, a relationship that meant parents who wanted boys had to have more children overall in order to ensure that they would get them.

            Now, that is no longer the case; and together with other causes, this change has contributed to declining birthrates, as well as to a new social problem in these countries in general and Armenia in particular: there are now too many men and too few women in prime marriage-age cohorts for endogamy, forcing people to marry outside their nationality.

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