For the first time in history, there is more female population in India than men. According to the government’s National Family and Health Survey (NFHS), there are 1,020 women for every 1,000 men between 2019 and 2021. These numbers are historic for a country where female infanticide is still carried out and violence against women is rather common. Parents, too, are in favour of having sons over daughters, although this is now relevant only in rural India.
The last survey in 2015 had found 991 women per 1000 men. According to the new report, rural India contributes the most, with 1,037 women for every 1,000 men, while urban India has a sex ratio of 985.
The data also showed India’s fertility rate fell to two children per woman, down from 2.2 in the last survey. The improvement in total sex ratio is positive and a step in the right direction but much still needs to be done towards gender equality, Population Foundation of India (PFI) health scientist Sanghamitra Singh told AFP.
India’s current population is around 1.3 billion people and UN projections say that the population will overtake that of China by the end of this decade.