There has been a marginal improvement in Delhi's child sex ratio -- 871 girls per 1,000 boys -- in the age group of 0 to 6 years as compared to 868 in 2001, says the Delhi Census report 2011 released on Tuesday.
Experts blame the disappointing rise to illegal sex-selective foeticide prevalent in the city. "The child sex ratio was poor in 2001 and unfortunately it has not improved much in all these years," said Varsha Joshi, director of census operations, National Capital Territory of Delhi, who released the final data.
Surveys carried out in the city have revealed that affluent people opt for sex determination techniques and then for abortions if the child in the womb is a girl. "We are still a highly patriarchal society; we may look modern but we are not. Dowry and the belief that a son is the legitimate heir are two major reasons that go against the girl child," said Shabnam Hashmi, social activist.
The city's overall sex ratio too has seen marginal improvement in the last decade and is up from 821 women in 2001 to 868 women per 1000 men.
Total fertility rate
The Census report revealed that more Delhi women have begun to prefer having a single child. The total fertility rate (TFR), which represents the number of children that would be born to a woman if she were to live to the end of her childbearing years, has seen a decline from 2.2 to 1.8 in the past decade.
"One of the reasons can be that couples increasingly are preferring having a single child. Another reason can be the sudden spurt in the nuclear family set-up," said Joshi.
The total children's population is 12 per cent (2,012,454), which is lower than the 2001 count by nearly 4,500.