Census 2011: Governing Populations and the Girl Child

Author: UNFPA
Publisher: UNFPA


The announcement of the provisional population figures from Census 2011 has come at a very important moment in India’s relationship with the census and its operations. Newspaper headlines made it clear where India’s own priorities lay – first and foremost were the “positives”: improvements in the rate of decline in the growth of the population (though less than anticipated), a rise in literacy rates and also of the overall sex ratio of the number of women per 1,000 men. The only fly in the ointment is therefore the child sex ratio (CSR measuring those in the 0-6 year range) which has dropped from 927 girls per 1,000 boys in 2001 to an all-time low of 914 in 2011. The secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs appeared on the evening news saying that on the matter of the girl child, the government must re-examine its policies.