The number of females divided by the number of males in a given population. Ratios larger than one mean more females and smaller then one mean more males.
There are two genetic characteristics which effect the numbers of human females relative to the number of human males. The number of live births of males is larger than the number of live births of females by about 6 percent. And females live more years than males. Where the conditions for human survival are very difficult and most die young, genes for longer life are not very helpful to females---ratios are often less than one. When life conditions become easier, as in industrialized countries of the present time, the numbers of older females raises the female/male ratio above one---ranging from 103 to 108 per cent.
As the conditions of human life have improved throughout the world the female/male ratios have become larger than one. However, in spite of these improvements in India an abnormality has occurred. Starting the century with a below one female/ratio, the Indian ratio has declined.
On the other hand, in Kerala, the female/male ratio began above one and has increased in a normal pattern. The following table contrasts the normal change of Kerala with the abnormal change of India.
The left side of the following graph shows the abnormally low female/male ratio in India as below one and declining throughout the twentieth century. The right side of this table shows the female/male ratio in Kerala as above one and increasing---a normal pattern in other human
Indian census data. (Nanda)
populations throughout the twentieth century. In 1901 the Indian ratio was 972 females per 1000 males and declined to 927 by 1991. In Kerala the ratio was 1004 females per 1000 males in 1901 and increased to 1036 by 1991. Relative to normal Kerala in 1901, the female deficit in India was 3 per cent and the female deficit increased to 11 per cent by 1991. (Sen)
(Directory) March 20, 2000