Sex Ratio at Birth in India and selected States: Trends, Determinants and Future Scenario.
As fertility declines across India, with different regions being at different levels of TFR, how will that affect regional as well as national levels of SRB? At what levels will SRB reach its peak, and then begin a decline? These are the central questions this paper seeks to address. The paper examines sex selection for 1st and 2nd order births in India and its major states. The work in this line of projecting sex ratio at birth is negligible in India. The paper looks at various possible factors that may affect Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB) using National Family Health Surveys of India 1,2,3,and 4. We find clear evidence of sex selection in North West India. Further, some states of South East like Assam, Bihar and Tamil Nadu show signs of sex selection. An estimation of values of SRB, in total and by birth order for India and its regions is made. This is done to get an idea of the current situation. Further, this method, propagated by Roy and Chattopadhyay (2012), is used to estimate SRB that India is likely to reach in future using parity progression ratio and SRB at different birth orders. Peak level of 116-117 seems likely to be reached by 2025-2030. If sex selection spreads aggressively to South East region, then peak SRB could even reach a level of 124. India needs proactive programs to propagate gender equality across states.