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NFHS Survey: India records more women than men first time in history

For the first time in record, India has reported more women than, that is, the sex ratio of the total population (females per 1000 males) in India remarkably improved by 29 points, from 991 in 2015-16 to 1020 in 2019-21. This population is not getting any younger, and no longer faces the threat of a population explosion. The data was reflected in the National Family and Health Survey – which is a large-scale, multi-round, multifaceted survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India.

The data also showed that India’s Total Fertility Rate (TFR) has further dropped from 2.2 to 2 at the national level. The Total fertility rate is calculated as the average number of children per woman. The government survey has indicated that the Total fertility rate in India has ranged from 1.4 in Chandigarh to 2.4 in Uttar Pradesh. All the radical findings are based upon key indicators like, nutrition, population, family welfare, reproductive and child health and others for India and 14 states and UTs which was released by the NITI Aayog’s Member, Health, Dr Vinod Kumar Paul and Family Welfare Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

Feat Achieved: More women than men in India for the 1st time
It is indeed a feat achieved! From 991:1000 in 2015-16 in NFHS-4, this is the first time ever in any NFHS or any Census that the sex ratio is indicated in favour of the women. “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,” said Vikas Sheel, additional secretary, Union ministry of health and family welfare and mission director, National Health Mission.

Key Findings: Phase-2 of NFHS-5

– Immunisation Drive among Children
At an All-India level, the full immunization drive among children aged between 12-23 months has recorded a significant improvement from 62% to 76% according to the survey. The survey indicated that in comparison to the previous data of NFHS-4 and NFHS-5, the substantial increase in full immunization coverage has been observed to be rapid in various States and Union Territories in the country. The highest has been recorded in Odisha at 90%.

– Anaemia among children and women continues to be a cause
As per the survey, anaemia among children and women has continued to be a concern, with more than half of women and children being anaemic in 14 Indian States and UTs.

– Improvement in Child Nutrition
Child nutrition has shown a slight improvement at an all-India level as stunting declined from 38% to 26%, wasting from 21% to 19% and underweight from 36% to 32%.

– Increase in institutional births
There has been an increase in institutional births. They have increased significantly from 79% to 89% at the country level. In Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, institutional delivery is 100% and more than 90% in seven states and UTs. C-section deliveries have also seen an increase.

The States and UTs covered under NFHS-5 Phase 2 include
– Chhattisgarh
– Arunachal Pradesh
– Chandigarh
– Jharkhand
– Haryana
– Delhi
– Madhya Pradesh
– Puducherry
– Odisha
– Rajasthan
– Punjab
– Uttar Pradesh
– Tamil Nadu
– Uttarakhand.

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