The recent National Health Profile report has brought to the fore shameful statistics for the ‘city beautiful’, Chandigarh. Number of women per 1000 men in rural Chandigarh is the lowest in the country at 690.
Overall too, the statistics are no pleasing. The lowest sex ratio of overall population — urban and rural — is seen in the Union Territory of Chandigarh (818). Daman and Diu shares the same abysmal number at 818.
Other states/UTs that figure in the lowest sex ratio bracket are: Delhi (868), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (876), Haryana (879), Jammu and Kashmir (889), Sikkim (890) and Punjab (895).
Kerala has the highest sex ratio
Kerala has the highest in both rural (1078) and urban areas (1091). Also overall too, the highest sex ratio is in Kerala (1084) followed by Puducherry (1037), Tamil Nadu (996), Andhra Pradesh (993), Chhattisgarh (991), and Meghalaya (989). States in the south of the country are far ahead, still, than those in the north, in having a healthy sex ratio.
Sex Ratio, though, has improved
Overall, India’s sex ratio has improved, showed the NHP, from 933 in 2001 to 943 in 2011. The rate of increase in rural areas has been slower, from 946 to 949, while it has jumped from 900 to 929 in urban areas.
Delhi’s poor sex ratio is cause for concern as it is the most peopled place in the country with highest population density of 11,320 people per square kilometer. Chandigarh is a distant second with 9,258 population per sq km.
Despite the crowding in urban centres, the bulk of the country’s population, at least 70 percent, still lives in rural areas. This, however, is inversely proportional to the denser cluster of healthcare facilities in urban areas. One researcher associated with the ministry’s National Health Resource Repository Project, also launched on Tuesday, estimated that 70 percent of health facilities were in urban areas and 30 in rural.
Other population figures from the NHP
The NHP drives home how young the country really is:
- 28.5 percent of the population is aged 14 or less, while
- only 8 percent is above the age of 60.
The country has also shown a slowdown in birth rates and death rates, though urban areas do better than rural. By 2016, India’s birth rate was 20.4 per 1,000 population and death rate was 6.4 per 1,000 population. Still population continues to grow as the decline in birth rate is not as fast as that in the death rate.
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