For the first time, the number of women exceeds men in India: NFHS survey

National Family Health Survey has released new figures on gender ratio in India. According to the Survey, the new sex ratio is reported as 1020 females for every 1000 males. The signs of demographic change in India have been confirmed by NFHS in its report. The report by NFHS was published by the Union health ministry on the 24th of November. 

The first survey conducted by NFHS was in 1992, thereafter in every survey, the ratio stood in favor of men. However, this is the first time since the NFHS began in 1992, the proportion of women exceeded men. In the last edition of the survey in 2015-16, there were 991 women for every 1,000 men.

When in 1990, the Nobel laureate Amartya Sen coined the term “missing women”, there were 927 women per 1,000 men in India. This indicates that the numbers are improving. Moreover, the average number of children born to a woman in the country has dropped to two. Earlier, the country’s fertility rate was 2.2 percent. According to the National Family Health Survey 2019-2021 released by the Union Ministry of Health, the rate of reproduction is declining again. Also, according to data from the Census of India website, the average life expectancy at birth for men and women was 66.4 years and 69.6 years respectively in 2010-14. 

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The states and UTs which were surveyed in this phase were Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, NCT of Delhi, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, a Health Ministry statement said. The lowest fertility rate is in Chandigarh at 1.4 percent. The fertility rate in states other than Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh, is over 2.1 percent. However, Bihar has the highest rate at 3%.