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Essence: The findings of the NFHS-5 on demographic and health indicators has sparked a debate due to lack of proper data interpretation. The finding that there are 1,020 women for 1,000 men, an improvement over the last round of survey, has led to a wide-ranging conversation. But, even nationally representative household surveys, show a similar trend. As a result, using sex ratio trends to argue for India's progress on gender justice and women's empowerment isn't altogether incorrect, while this ratio isn't the only sign of gender equality.
Given the widespread concern about a surveyed population's stated sex ratio, it's important to know the limitations of generalisations and caution against drawing definite conclusions, while simultaneously demonstrating how these surveys might assist understand certain trends. For example, in NFHS 4, a favourable sex ratio was reported for a handful of the states, which was inconsistent with the gender-based developmental indicators. It may be premature to declare India to have a balanced sex ratio, the NFHS findings certainly show improvement in that direction.
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