Women will be able to be more choosy when it comes to finding a husband and 10 per cent will not marry at all. This is the forecast for romance in the year 2016, as outlined by government projections issued yesterday. Men will increasingly outnumber women with the imbalance reaching nearly 70,000 after two decades. However, government statisticians played down the risk of a 'marriage squeeze' as experienced in Singapore. Senior statistician Anthony Mak Shiu-kwai said men could marry younger women or marry in China so they need not die as bachelors. 'Hong Kong people are still going to be able to get married,' he said. The imbalance has been caused partly by returnees and expatriates, who are more likely to be male. The average age of women at marriage has risen from 22.9 to 26.9, and the time gap from marriage to first child has risen from 20 to 26 months. The proportion of women aged 40 to 44 who are unmarried has tripled to nine per cent. Hong Kong's fertility rates are already much lower than those which caused alarm in Singapore.