The authors sought to document the trends in missing female births, particularly among second and third children, at national and state levels. Findings suggest that in contrast to the substantial improvements in female child mortality in India, missing female births, driven by selective abortion of female fetuses, continues to increase across the states. Inclusion of a question on sex composition of births in the forthcoming census would provide local information on sex-selective abortion in each village and urban area of the country.


  1. Jha P, Kesler MA, Kumar R, Ram F, Ram U, Aleksandrowicz L, Bassani DG, Chandra S, Banthia JK. Trends in selective abortions of girls in India: analysis of nationally representative birth histories from 1990 to 2005 and census data from 1991 to 2011. Lancet. 2011 Jun 4;377(9781):1921-8.

  2. Jha P, Kumar R, Vasa P, Dhingra N, Thiruchelvam D, Moineddin R. Low female[corrected]-to-male [corrected] sex ratio of children born in India: national survey of 1.1 million households. Lancet. 2006 Jan 21;367(9506):211-8.

  3. Nielsen BB, Liljestrand J, Hedegaard M, Thilsted SH, Joseph A. Reproductive pattern, perinatal mortality, and sex preference in rural Tamil Nadu, south India: community based, cross sectional study. BMJ. 1997 May 24;314(7093):1521-4.


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