According to the CIA, as of 2018 there were an estimated 981,129,427 boys ages 0 to 14 living in the world. This number stems from an estimated total population of 7,503,828,180. You might think that the number of males in the world is equal to the number of females. Research suggests otherwise. A report by the BBC states that since record-keeping began in 1838, there have been more males than females born every year. In fact, the birth ratio is 107 boys for every 100 girls.
Balancing the Scales
No one can say for sure why there is an imbalance between male and female births. One theory is that the skewed birth ratio is nature’s way of ensuring an even balance of males to females in adulthood. Males are more likely than females to die at all stages of life, but especially in childhood. Males are bigger risk-takers. They are more likely to die from accidents, suicide and illness.
Social reasons also influence the gender imbalance. In some countries in Asia and the Middle East, there is a strong preference for having sons rather than daughters. Females are often aborted in the womb, resulting in a higher birth ratio of boys.
It’s in the Chromosomes
The sex of the baby is determined by the father’s chromosomes. When the sperm carries an X chromosome, it combines with the mother’s X chromosome to make a baby girl. If the sperm is carrying a Y chromosome, it makes a baby boy. There are many factors that may influence whether or not the X or Y chromosome sperm unites with the egg, including nutrition, environment and timing. None of these are proven to have any significant effect. In the end, it boils down to chance.
There are a lot of rumors about things that may increase your odds of having a boy or a girl. But professionals agree that there is no scientific way a parent can control the gender of their unborn child. Nevertheless, studies have proven that a man’s own family tree may hint at whether or not he will have boys or girls. A 2008 study from
Newcastle University found that a man with more brothers is likely to have more male children. A man with more sisters is likely to have daughters.
Moving into Adulthood
While there are more boys born than girls, by the time these children reach adulthood the ratio thins out to about 105 boys to 100 girls. Worldwide the numbers are close to even. But in countries like China and India, there is still an imbalance due to a strong preference for males at birth. In 2018, the Washington Post reported that there are 70 million more men than women in these countries.