In a city where women outnumber men, up to one in five Valentine's Day bouquets yesterday in Hong Kong were being sent by lonely women office workers to themselves.
Florists quoted by an English-language daily estimated that 10 to 20 percent of people buying Valentine's Day bouquets are women who have the flowers delivered to their offices.
"In most cases they did not want written messages on the flowers and those who did wanted them to be signed `secret admirer,'" florist Gary Wong told the Hong Kong Standard.
"Women order the flowers to show off to their workmates. If they are not going to be in the office on that day, there is no point in ordering them," he added.
Most women ordering the flowers for themselves are senior executives aged 30 or older, the newspaper said. In some cases, mothers were buying flowers for their daughters.
Statistics suggest that as more Valentine's Days go by, it is going to become increasingly difficult for single women to find the perfect mate in Hong Kong.
In 1981, there were only 1,000 women for every 1,087 men, but a government study last year found there are now only 929 men for every 1,000 women in the city of 6.8 million people.
If the trend continues, the government report concluded, there will be a third more women than men in the territory by the year 2033, with only 698 men for every 1,000 women.
The imbalance of the sexes is being caused by an influx of mainland Chinese women who are marrying older Hong Kong men and a 200,000-plus population of female domestic workers from the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand.
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