Reading sex ratio trends in NFHS-5 data

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News: The NFHS data is a well-structured and unique one. Further, the findings of NFHS and the Census figure are no means comparable.

Must readNFHS-5 and its findings – Explained, pointwise
About the NFHS
Read hereWhat is National Family Health Survey (NFHS)?
What do the NFHS findings signify on the sex ratio?

NFHS-5 results indicate an improvement over the last four years from 991 women in 2015-16 to 1,020 women in 2019-21 for every 1,000 men. This data is significant because,

-The NFHS is the world’s largest household survey, (over 6,36,699 households), hence it has better reliability than any other national survey.

-The data has to be compared to similar surveys. For instance, Nationally representative household surveys like the second round of the Indian Human Development Survey (IHDS) shows a similar trend — 1,004 women for 1,000 men in 2011-12, an improvement over the first round.

-Though the NFHS data may not be a sole indicator of gender balance, there can be no denying the fact that the gender divide in many areas has narrowed.

-The progress in sex ratio as evidenced by the comparison between the last and the latest round of NFHS clearly conveys the improving sex ratio situation in the country.

Though it is premature to confirm a balanced sex ratio in India, the NFHS results do indicate progress towards that end.

Read more: The nine lives of India’s National Family Health Survey

Source: This post is based on the article “Reading sex ratio trends in NFHS-5 data” published in Indian Express on 20th December 2021.

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