More women than men in India for the first time: NFHS

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Three important findings have been revealed as part of the summary findings of the fifth round of the National Family and Health Survey (NFHS), which were released by the Union Health Ministry yesterday, 24 Nov.

According to the NFHS, India now has 1,020 women for every 1000 men, and no longer faces the threat of a population explosion, Hindustan Times reported.

A caveat – NFHS is a sample survey, to see if these numbers apply to the larger population we will have to wait for the next national census to be conducted. Experts say it’s very likely they will.

The survey was conducted between 2019 and 2021 in two phases.

“The improved sex ratio and sex ratio at birth is also a significant achievement; even though the real picture will emerge from the census, we can say for now looking at the results that our measures for women empowerment have steered us in the right direction,” Vikas Sheel from the National Health Mission told the daily.

India’s Total Fertility Rate has also slipped below replacement level, it has declined from 2.2 to 2. Meanwhile, India’s Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) has increased from 54% to 67%.

A TFR of 2.1 is deemed the replacement ratio — a factor crucial to population growth. At the moment, only five states in India still have fertility rates above the replacement level, The Quint reported.

This indicates that India’s population is stabilising.

Additionally, the percentage of population under the age of 15 was 34.9% in 2005-06, but now has come down to 26.5% in 2019-21.

This National Family and Health Survey was carried out on a sample of 6.1 lakh households, involving household level interviews to collect information on population, health, family planning, and nutrition-related indicators.

The main objective of successive rounds of the survey was to provide reliable and comparable datasets on health, family welfare, and other emerging issues.

All rounds of the NFHS survey have been conducted by the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai, as the national nodal agency.

Visit the Press Information Bureau (GOI) website, to see all the NFHS findings – https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1774533

Compiled from various reports

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