This week we look at the Sex Ratio (Number of females per 100 males) in India by state and how close each state is to achieving gender parity. We would like to remind our readers that this data is from the 2011 census so it is slightly dated but we are hopeful that things have only improved in the last 5 years especially given the efforts of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) campaign. This translates as 'Save girl child, educate girl child.'
First the good news- overall Sex Ratio (Number of females per 1000 males) in India has improved from 933 in 2001 to 943 in 2011. This is very encouraging. What is worrying though is that the Sex Ratio for children 0-6 years of age dropped from 927 2001 to 919 in 2011. This was a major reason why the government launched the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' campaign and reports from Gujarat suggest that it has been successful so far. To put things in context China- another major country struggling with low Sex Ratio- has a reported Ratio of 928. Russia which has one of the largest Sex Ratios among large countries has a reported ratio of 1160.
So how do states fare? The high-literacy state of Kerala tops the list with a Sex Ratio of 1084. Other Southern states such as Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh (numbers were not reported separately for Telangana in 2011), and Karnataka also fare relatively well. Large northern states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab do poorly. The worst performer is Haryana with a worrisome Sex Ratio of 879. The BBBP campaign certainly seems to be a step in the right direction and it would be interesting to look at its impact, preferably before the 2021 census. We urge our readers to share their thoughts an also share sources of reliable data around the ambitious BBBP campaign.