Sex ratio among youth could drop below 900

Sex ratio among youth could drop below 900
The consistently falling male-female ratio among India’s youth, which remains hopelessly skewed as a result of preference for a male child in previous decades, could fall below 900 in the next 15 years.

The recently published ‘Youth in India 2017’ report has found that the drop in sex ratio is more rapid among the youngsters than what is observed in the overall population.

“A negative aspect of youth in India is that the sex ratio in youth population is consistently decreasing from 1991 onwards. It has come down to 939 in 2011 as compared to 961 in 1971, and is projected to decline further to 904 (World Bank projection) in 2021,”  the report, released by the Central Statistics Office, said.

Quoting the World Bank projection, it said the sex ratio among the youth could further decline to 898 by 2031. Having dropped to 945 in 1981, this ratio rose marginally to 250 in 1991. It was 940 in 2001 and 939 at the beginning of the following decade. However, youth population has been showing a consistent growth from 30% in 1971 to 34% in 2011. The report stated that it would drop to 31.8% in 2031.

“The percentage of male youth population to the total male population follows the pattern of overall youth and was also on a steady rise till 2011. But the share of female youths to total females showed a slight decrease in 2001, which might have resulted due to a declining sex ratio during this period,” it noted.A welcome change is in the number of married women in younger age groups. The percentage of currently married women in the age group of 15 to 19 has dropped from 69.57 in 1961 to 19.47 in 2011.

“The mean age for effective marriage for women in India has come up to 22.3 in 2014 as compared to 19.4 in 1995,” the report said. It also said India has the “relative advantage at present” over other countries in terms of distribution of youth population.

According to census, the total youth population increased from 168 million in 1971 to 422 million in 2011. “India is seen to remain younger longer than China and Indonesia, the two major countries other than India that determine the demographic features of Asia,” it added.

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