Data on birth and death registration for 2019 throws both good and bad news when it comes to sex ratio at birth (SRB). While none of the states or Union territories (for which data is available) recorded less than 900 girls for every 1,000 boys, some of them recorded lower ratios than in 2018 or 2017.
With almost 110 boys born for every 100 girls, India has one of the world’s most skewed sex ratios at birth after China, Azerbaijan, Vietnam, and Armenia.
Data from Civil Registration System for 2019 placed Kerala and Uttarakhand on top with 960 girls to a 1,000 boys. However, Kerala's record has worsened from 965 in 2017 to 963 in 2018, and lowered further in 2019.
Among the big states, while Gujarat showed slight improvement from 2017, it still showed the lowest sex ratio at only 901 girls to 1,000 boys.
All five southern states recorded SRB between 942 and 960 – with Tamil Nadu recording the lowest (942) but still showing improvement from 932 in 2017.
States Showing Worsening Trends
Chhattisgarh recorded the highest fall in SRB – from 968 in 2017 to 931 in 2019. Himachal Pradesh, Assam also showed downward trends.
For example, Himachal recorded SRB of 934 in 2017, 930 in 2018, and just 918 girls to 1,000 boys in 2019.
Assam was one of the states where the ratio was already low with 921 in 2017. In 2019, the number slipped further to 903.
States Registering Gains
On the other hand, Telangana took the biggest leap forward – going from 915 in 2017 to 953. Uttarakhand, too, showed improvement, with the SRB at 960 as compared to 929 two years earlier.
Punjab, one of the states where female foeticide is high, showed steady improvement from 890 in 2017 to 914 in 2019.
Some states like Karnataka, Rajasthan, and Jammu and Kashmir have recorded worsening trends after making steady gains between 2017-2018. For example, Jammu and Kashmir registered 909 SRB in 2017. This improved to 952 in 2018, but slid back to 909 in 2019.
However, data is not available for many big states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, or Uttar Pradesh as of now.
(With inputs from The Times of India.)