Uttarakhand's sex ratio at birth is the worst in the country, according to NITI Aayog's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicators, recording 840 female births per 1,000 male births.
The ratio is below the national average of 899 and way behind the ideal figure of 850. The state emerged as the worst-performing states, witnessing a 7.89 per cent decline in the last 16 years.
According to the 2005-06 National Family Health Survey (NFHS), the state had 912 female births per 1,000 male births, which was below the then national average of 914 and a decade later, it dropped to 888. The ratio further decreased to 850 in 2018 and in the ensuing year, it came down to 841. Though the government said efforts have been initiated to educate men and women on gender discrimination, the experts described it as a matter of grave concern.
"There may be several reasons for the skewed sex ratio, especially in the hills. However, over the last few years, we have worked to increase literacy rates and educate men and women about gender discrimination. We must see the results of our efforts in the coming days," Times of India quoted Uttarakhand government spokesperson Subodh Uniyal.
Chhattisgarh emerged as the best-performing state in the survey, with the score of 958 females born per 1,000 males, followed by Kerala at second place with 957. Himachal Pradesh's figures also increased to 930 this year.
Punjab ranked top in terms of improvement in male-to-female ratios, recording birth of 890 females per 1,000 males, respectively. In 2005-06, the state had a ratio of 734, which further increased to 860 in 2015-16.
Haryana had an improved ratio as well, but lower than the national average. The state's sex ratio at birth in 2021 was 843. However, the score has significantly over the years. Earlier in 2005-06, Haryana recorded 762 female births, followed by 836 in 2015-16.