Decomposing Equalizing Child Sex Ratios in India into Fertility and Mortality Related Components: Geographic Regions and Urban/Rural Populations

Nadia Diamond-Smith, University of California, San Francisco
Nandita Saikia, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Despite an overall downward trend in child sex ratios (CSR) in India, some of the most imbalanced districts in 2001 began to equalize in 2011. We decompose the equalization into sex-selective abortion and improved girl child mortality compared to boys. We use data from life tables to reverse-survive the populations of children alive in 2001 and 2011, applying information on ratios of child survival at a district compared to state level to estimate district-level trends. Most of the equalization is due to reductions in sex-selective abortion, although these make up the majority of the cause of imbalanced CSR. There has been a greater increase in the amount of the contribution to imbalance from excess female mortality in urban areas over time. Declines in sex-selective abortion and excess female mortality are contributing to the equalization in CSR, but sex-selective abortion still make up the majority of the cause of missing girls.

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Presented in Session 59: Global Perspectives on Demography and Gender Inequality: Polices, Patterns, and Processes