“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.
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 today.
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.
Of the eight states in red on female sex ratio in 2001, only four — J&K, Punjab, Haryana and Sikkim— remain in that net now.
Better access to health facilities for women is said to have helped female sex ratio, especially in the North-East with dramatic improvement in number of women in Arunachal, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram.
Census 2011 had delivered a mixed bag on sex ratio. Female girl child is still unwanted and their numbers have fallen to all-time low since Independence, but overall female sex ratio has improved, census data released on Thursday showed. India’s sex ratio has increased from 933