Child sex ratio hits all-time low

“Whereas the overall sex ratio has shown improvement since 1991, decline in the child sex ratio (in the age group of 0-6 years) has been unabated since the 1961 census. As per the 2011 census, it has declined to reach an all-time low of 914,” Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner C Chandramauli said while releasing the provisional results of the 15th census.

The child sex ration in the age group of 0-6 years was 927 in the 2001 census. The total number of children in the age group of 0-6 is 15.88 crore in the 2011 census, while it was 16.38 crore in 2001.

The 15th census of India figures indicate a continuing preference of parents for male children over female children. “This is a matter of grave concern,” Chandramauli said. The provisional census report noted that the child sex ratio in the age group of 0-6 years showed a decline over the census 2001 in all the states.

An “increasing trend” in the decline of ratio was seen in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram and Andaman & Nicobar Island. The ratio in Harayan and Punjab is the lowest among all the states. Haryana has 830 female children and Punjab 846 per 1,000 male child. The highest ratio is in Mizoram (971 females against 1,000 males) and Meghalaya (970). In Karnataka, the ratio is 943.

However, the overall sex ratio at the national level has increased by 7 points since the 2001 census to reach 940 females per 1,000 male in the 2011 census, the highest recorded since 1971.

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