Child sex ratio drops to lowest since Independence

Indicating a continuing preference for boys in society, the child sex ratio in India has dropped to 914 females against 1,000 males - the lowest since Independence - in the provisional 2011 Census report released on Thursday.

Last Updated: Mar 31, 2011, 20:45 PM IST

New Delhi: Indicating a continuing preference
for boys in society, the child sex ratio in India has dropped
to 914 females against 1,000 males - the lowest since
Independence - in the provisional 2011 Census report released
on Thursday.

Despite a slew of laws to prevent female foeticide and
schemes to encourage families to have girl child, the ratio
has declined from 927 females against 1,000 males in 2001 to
914, which was described as a "matter of grave concern" by
Census Commissioner of India C Chandramauli.
Though an increasing trend in the child sex ratio (0-6
years) has been seen in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh,
Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram and Andaman and Nicobar Islands,
in all remaining 27 states and Union Territories, the child
sex ratio shows decline over Census 2001.

The highest child sex ratio has been reported in Mizoram
(971 females against 1000 males) and Meghalaya (970).

Notably, Punjab and Haryana, which have traditionally seen
low sex ratio, have recorded an increasing trend but still
remained at the bottom of the list. Haryana has 830 female
children and Punjab 846 against per 1000 male child.

Haryana`s Jhajjar (774 females) and Mahendragarh (778
females) districts have the lowest sex ratio while Lahul and
Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh has the highest sex ratio
(1,013 females).

Krishna Tirath, Minister of State for Women and Child
Development, said the fall in girl child population is a
matter of concern. Tirath said she will take up the issue with
the problem states and stressed on proper implementation of
women and child development schemes.
Uttar Pradesh (29.7 million), Bihar (18.6 million),
Maharashtra (12.8 million), Madhya Pradesh (10.5 million) and
Rajasthan (10.5 million) constitute 52 per cent children in
the age group of 0-6 years. Population (0-6 years) 2001-2011
registered minus 3.08 per cent growth with minus 2.42 for
males and minus 3.80 for females.

However, in some good news, the overall sex ratio at the
national level has increased by 7 points since the 2001 Census
to reach 940 females per 1000 male at Census 2011.

This is the highest sex ratio recorded since 1971 and a
shade lower than 1961. Increase in sex ratio has been recorded
in 29 states and UTs while three major states - Bihar, Gujarat
and Jammu and Kashmir - have shown a decline in sex ratio as
compared to Census 2001.

Kerala with 1084 has the highest sex ratio followed by
Puducherry with 1038. Daman and Diu has the lowest sex ratio
of 618.

PTI