But the fact is these so-called "leftover women" are probably an overhyped concern, perhaps driven by government worries about a more likely problem — leftover men, aka "bare branches".
Yes, given a combination of China's one child policy and a traditional preference for sons, China may be looking at 12 to 15 percent of its male population being unable to find a wife. As Jessica Levine writes at Tea Leaf Nation, that's pretty much the population of Texas.
That many lonely, angry men are not good for anyone. Levine points to an academic article released last year by Quanbao Jiang & Jesús J. Sánchez-Barricarte, these bare branches aren't just sad — they represent a danger to society.