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How did 3 million girls go 'missing' in India?

Last updated on: October 10, 2012 08:36 IST

In India, there are now 48 fewer girls per 1,000 boys

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In an alarming trend, girl child numbers in India have shown a sharper decline than the male children in the decade beginning 2001, leading to a skewed child sex ratio.

Ahead of the International Day of the Girl Child on Thursday, the government said that while the decade saw an overall drop in share of children to total population, nearly three million girls, one million more than boys, are "missing" in 2011 compared to 2001 and there are now 48 fewer girls per 1,000 boys than there were in 1981.

"During 2001-2011, the share of children to total population has declined and the decline was sharper for female children than male children in the age group 0-6 years," said the study "Children in India 2012-A Statistical Appraisal" conducted by the Central Statistical Organisation.

"Though, the overall sex ratio of the country is showing a trend of improvement, the child sex ratio is showing a declining trend, which is a matter of concern," the study said.

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According to the report, female child population in the age group of 0-6 year was 78.83 million in 2001 which declined to 75.84 million in 2011.

The population of girl child was 15.88 per cent of the total female population of 496.5 million in 2001, which declined to 12.9 per cent of total number of 586.47 million women in 2011.

Similarly the male children population has also declined from 85.01 million in 2001 to 82.95 per cent in 2011. The percentage of male children population was 15.97 per cent of total male population in 2001 which declined to 13.3 per cent in 2011 (of 623 million men population).

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It says that this process has led to missing of nearly 3 million girl children compared to 2 million missing boy children in 2011, compared to 2001 and there are now 48 fewer girls per 1,000 boys than there were in 1981.

During the period, 1991-2011, the child sex ratio declined from 945 to 914, whereas the overall sex ratio showed an improvement from 927 to 940.

"Though the child sex ratio in rural India is 919 which is 17 points higher than that of urban India, the decline in Child Sex Ratio (0-6 years) during 2001-2011 in rural areas is more than three times as compared to the drop in urban India which is a matter of grave concern," it added.



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