The world's girls are healthier than ever. They live longer and more of them are going to school than at any time in history. But millions of them are missing from expected global population figures. Full story:
  1. Nearly half the world's girls live in just seven countries
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    Worldwide, there are about 600 million girls aged 10 to 19. A third of them live in India and China. The rest of the 50 percent live in Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Brazil and the U.S.
  2. On average, there are about 105 boys born worldwide for every 100 girls
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    Girls tend to make up for this difference over time because of their greater resilience and resistance to disease. The disparity between the number of boys and girls is greatest in India and China.
  3. China is "missing" about 24 million girls between the ages of 0 and 19
    That's over 14 percent of the female population in that age range. (Data comes from 2010 numbers from the United Nations Population Fund.)
  4. That's partly reflective of China's one-child policy
    Many families want that child to be a son. The increasing availability of prenatal ultrasounds and blood tests for gender makes it possible for parents to abort a female fetus if they want. The uneven ratio of boys to girls born in China suggests this is happening.
  5. The situation is similar in India
    Preliminary data suggest that as access to prenatal gender tests increases there, fewer girls are being born. India's percentage of girls missing at birth is lower than China's at 5.6 percent of the female population between 0 and 19. But because India's population is so large, India is missing 13 million girls out of its under-20-year-old female population.
  6. That means there are currently about 37 million fewer 0- to 19-year-old girls in India and China than the world average ratio would predict
    To put that number in perspective, that's about 2 million more than the entire population of Canada.
  7. (China and India aren't the only countries that show this trend. They are just the largest.)
  8. Being a teen girl can be tough no matter where you live. What was the hardest thing about being 15 for you?
    Share you photos and stories on our open list here: Ladies, What Was the Hardest Part About Being 15?