Child sex ratio

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In India, the Child Sex Ratio is defined as the number of females per thousand males in the age group 0–6 years in a human population.[1] Thus it is equal to 1000 x the reciprocal of the sex ratio (ratio of males to females in a population) in the same age group, i.e. under age seven. Obviously, an imbalance in this age group will extend to older age groups in future years. Currently, the ratio of males to females is generally significantly greater than 1, i.e. there are more boys than girls.

According to the decennial Indian census, the sex ratio in the 0-6 age group in India went from 104.0 males per 100 females in 1981 to 105.8 in 1991, to 107.8 in 2001, to 108.8 in 2011.[2] The ratio is significantly higher in certain states such as Punjab and Haryana (118 and 120 respectively per 2011 census).[3]

Impact of skewed ratio[edit]

The impact of a skewed sex ratio with more male children than females is already being felt in some parts of India and China[4] and is likely to continue to tighten the skewed ratio between genders.:[1]

  • When there are less women of marriageable age, a significant proportion of men will have to delay their marriage. This is known as the "marriage squeeze." This is when one group, of marriage eligible men, choose brides from a group of women that is less in numbers than the males. When the next group of eligibility enters the group there will be leftover men from the prior group added to current, group. If the woman sex ratio of eligible marriage age is significantly smaller than the men, there will be a resulting decline in fertility.


  • This will initially affect younger generations of men in their 20s. These men will not only be in surplus within their cohort (age group), but they will also face competition from a backlog of older, unmarried men, who will still be in the marriage market.
  • This problem will not be overcome simply by delaying marriage, due to the cumulative impact of the skewed sex ratio over several generations. Thus a proportion of men will in due course have to forgo marriage altogether. The poorest males will be disproportionately affected by this marriage squeeze. This may cause destabilization and may translate into class-based tensions.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "India's female freefall". staff and wire reports. CNN. June 19, 2001. Retrieved 2008-11-13. 
  2. ^ India at Glance - Population Census 2011 - Final Census of India, Government of India (2013)
  3. ^ Census of India 2011: Child sex ratio drops to lowest since Independence The Economic Times, India
  4. ^ a b "Bare branches, redundant males". The Economist. Retrieved 2017-04-04. 
  5. ^ "Sex-ratio imbalance in Asia - Trends, consequences and policy responses" (PDF). United Nation Population Fund. p. 6. Retrieved 2008-12-15.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)

External links[edit]