National Family Health Survey Shows Indians Keen To Have Daughters

Indians seem to be finally ending their obsession with giving birth to a male heir. According to the recently released National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data, men and women from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Muslims, rural people and those from the lower rungs of the economic ladder are keener to have a daughter.

Know more about the report:

Preference according to age-group

About 79% of women aged 15 to 49 and 78% of men in the 15-54 age group in India want to have at least one daughter.

The number of people wanting a daughter has risen from the 2005-06 NFHS survey in which 74% of women and 65% of men had said they wanted one.

Preference according to area

More rural women (81%) than urban (75%) want one daughter; this proportion is higher (85%) in women who have no education compared to women who have passed Class XII (72%).

About 80% of rural men and 75% of urban men want daughters. Again, 83% of men with no schooling wanted a daughter against 74% of those who have completed 12 years or more of schooling.

Preference according to religion

About 81% of Muslim, 79% of Buddhist/Neo-Buddhist and 79% of Hindu women desired at least one daughter.

Even among other religions, more than 70% of women wanted a daughter.

SCs/STs and OBCs

This number is higher in SCs (81%), STs (81%) and other backward class women (80%).

About 84% of ST and 79% of SC men want daughters. So do 81% of Muslim and 78% of Hindu and Jain men. Among Buddhist/ Neo-Buddhist men, this number is 77%.

When it comes to wealth, 86% of women and 85% of men from the poorest one-fifth wanted at least one daughter, while only 73% of the wealthiest women and 72% of the wealthiest men wanted one.

About 82% of women and 83% of men across all categories want at least one son in the family. Also, roughly 19% of both women and men want more sons than daughters while only a tiny 3.5% wanted more daughters than sons.

It is good to see most Indians yearning to have a girl child. A revolution, however, will come only when the people strive to make the country a safer place for their girl children. Only with educational facilities and a supportive environment will they actually flourish.

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