Urban India fares worse than the rural parts of the country in terms of sex-ratio, both overall and at birth, as per a latest national health survey. The overall sex-ratio for the country is 991, while in rural India it was 1009 and in urban areas 956, according to the National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS-4) for 2015-16. The sex-ratio at birth in the past five years has improved marginally from 914 to 919 girls per 1000 boys but in urban India it was as low as 899. In Haryana, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign, the overall child sex-ratio at birth in the past five years was 836, up from 762 in 2005-2006. But in urban Haryana it is as low as 785. The survey found that there are 876 women per 1000 men in Haryana, but in the state’s urban areas the ratio of women is to men is 846:1000.
In contrast to Haryana, the gender in Madhya Pradesh has widened. The sex-ratio at birth for the children born in the last five years has dropped to 927 from 960 while in urban areas it was 899. Total sex-ratio in Madhya Pradesh is at 973, while in the urban part of the state it has been recorded at 933, it said. The sex-ratio at birth for children born in the last five years has improved from 847 in 2005-2006 to 887 in 2015-2016 in Rajasthan. The urban Rajasthan, however, has fallen behind the state average as it stood ten years ago and recorded a sex-ratio at birth at 845.
Here, the sex-ratio is at 973 as per the latest data and in urban Rajasthan is 928. In Bihar, though, the figure for sex-ratio at birth in urban parts is higher than the state’s average. In urban areas of the state it is 942, while the state’s average was 934. The gender gap in urban areas and in the rest of the state was quite stark in Assam where the sex-ratio at birth for children born in the last five years for the entire state was 929, whereas for urban Assam it is 794. Explaining this trend across the country, Executive Director at Centre for Catalysing Change, Aparajita Gogoi said, “Sex selection has been more prevalent in urban areas primarily because people have access to technology like sonogram and sex determination tests.”