June 21, 2021: As per the 2019 registration of dates on birth and death, a balanced sex ratio at birth (SRB) is revealed in the country. Fortunately, unlike the past years, none of the states and Union Territories which have data available, recorded in the form of an SRB, the number of girls born for every 1000 boys is less than 900. However, the grim news is that, for many states the ratios polled in are less in comparison to the data collected in 2017 or 2018.
Sex ratio in India
Based on the numbers, with those states that performed lower on the ratio in the past years, levelling up in the present count, the graph has seen an unchanging line, stuck on some kind of a middle ground. Counted among a few, Assam is one such state where the previously low ratio of 921 has fallen bleakly to a ratio of 903, in 2019 census, as gleaned from the annual report of the Civil Registration System of 2019.
While the tribal states generally record higher sex ratios, the predominantly tribal state of Chhattisgarh has seen the highest decline in SRB from 968 in 2017 to 931 in 2019. Calculated in the same span, the most celebrated improvement among larger states, has been recorded in the state of Telengana from 915 to 953, seconded by Uttarakhand where the spike was from 929 to 960.
Statistics of the sex ratio in India
The natural statistics of sex ratio recorded by World Health Organization (WHO) is about 952 females to every 1000 males. Six states, including three from the Northeast, have recorded a higher than the average set sex ratio as in Arunachal Pradesh its 1024, even though it’s a fall from the previous run of the state which was 1047, and the other two are Nagaland and Mizoram which have 1001 and 975 respectively, both marking a triumphant rise from their previous scores 948 and 964 in 2017.
Like Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh recorded a fall from its previous score, from 965 in 2017 to 960 in 2019, marking a trend downhill, with the recent score of 918.
The states infamous for their sex-selective abortions like Punjab and Chandigarh showed a humble improvement along with Odisha which recorded a rise from 930 to 947. Data pertaining to the sex ratio in Delhi although unavailable for the recent census, had shown a rise between 2017 and 2018.
Discrepancy in counting
The annual reports of CRS till the year 2016, displayed SRB based on all birth registrations during the year. There had been a discrepancy owing to the recording of births that happened in the previous year, in the next year.
Hence, the SRB began to be calculated by excluding those births which were recorded years later after the event took place.
The resultant loss has been that the data is unavailable now for states like Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh owing to their slackness in submitting the data on delayed birth registrations.
But, glancing at the previous statistics it can be safely said that with the exception of Jharkhand’s extremely poor performance with 881 female births per 1000 male ones, all other states have shown a considerable rise beyond 900.
Given the need for registration of births more than once, is mostly to obtain for the males, passports, jobs and the like, it can be said that the correction of figures will only vouch for an improvement in the overall sex ratio.
Thus, with the unfortunate exclusion of Jharkhand, the SRB trend has shown a rise toward the top in most states.
With the inconsistencies, the recent trend in Jharkhand may also display a 900 cross sex ratio, as its level of birth registrations is only 87% and lower registration levels generally imply lower registrations of female births, in the country.