Many of my married friends here in Hong Kong have baby boys and one of the mothers even anticipated that the forthcoming birth of another friend’s baby girl could attract the boys of her generation.

But as the trends shown by studies are disclosed, it’s the men who are outnumbered by the women and it will even get worse as years progress.

The number of men per 1,000 women in the population will fall noticeably, from 912 in 2006 to 709 in 2036. There will be variations in the sex ratio by age group, with the sex ratio for the age group 25-44 expected to be much affected by the presence of mostly young women who are foreign domestic helpers, according to the Census and Statistics office.

The number of unmarried Hong Kong women living on their own has jumped 43.8 per cent in five years because of the trend among local men to marry mainlanders, according to a University of Hong Kong statistician. What is in the mainlander women that’s not found in Hong Kong women? I thought that mainlanders were snubbed by HK people. Maybe the proof of this myth is slowly showing up.

The results of the 2006 census, released yesterday, showed that 182,648 women were living alone, compared with 127,001 in 2001 and 103,938 in 1996. The number of lone men has increased just 14.1 per cent, to 185,005, since 2001.

Last year, about 28,000 Hong Kong men married mainland women, an increase of more than 80 per cent on 2001. But only about 6,500 Hong Kong women married across the border last year.

Many women probably think that having a family and raising kids are detrimental to their career development and will even push their stress levels to the limit. Women can support themselves and don’t need partners to go on with their lives. News about domestic violence only worsen the situation. Many are thinking that marriage was more of financial security and less of parental responsibility.

A decade ago, the sexes were equal in number; now there are only 961 men for every 1,000 women. The number foreign domestic helpers who are mostly females has a great deal in this ratio.

So when you meet an unmarried woman in her 30s in Hong Kong, you’ll possibly know the reason behind why she decides to stay single. Again don’t ask for her age.