ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Survival of the Girl Child

Results of the first population census of the millennium reveal a number of significant changes in the sex ratio patterns in the country. Firstly, the sex ratio decline among children in the 0-6 age group turns out to be sharper in the urban areas (32 points) than in the rural. Second, the traditional north-south divide stands significantly modified and the 'northernisation' of sex ratios is rapidly taking the urban route. The sharp decline in the urban female/male (f/m) ratios among children cannot be explained away by any of the three popular escape hatches of yesteryears, i e, migration, undercount or biologically ordained high sex ratios at birth. This decline clearly points to one factor, sex selective abortion or female foeticide that has gained currency during the 1980s and more sharply in the 1990s.

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