Myth of Female Infanticide in India


Yesterday, a thread of mine on Twitter went somewhat viral. The thread was in response to an especially virulent feminist who challenged me to rebut her analysis presented in this article which claims that 17 million girls between 1-15 years of age were ‘exterminated’/’eliminated’/’killed’ in our country. The numbers she presented were just too unbelievable and my ‘bullshit-o-meter’ is quite accurate that way. She runs a campaign “50 million missing” whereas there were only 35 million less women than men in India in 2011 lol! So, I dug deeper.

Sure, the tone was a bit harsh, but I have no sympathy left for lying scum who can sell their country for money, or for whatever insidious agenda. I have a few friends with vast experience in the social sector who attest to the fact that NGOs and other social agencies habitually present a worse case of India than what the reality is, in order to garner more funding from public and private global bodies. But that is anecdotal evidence, what I will present below is not.


Before we begin, we must understand that nature does not produce equal number of girls and boys. Depending on sources, it is either 105 boys, or 107 boys or a broader range above 100 for every 100 girls born. There are natural reasons (eg. climate) for sex ratio at birth to vary as researched here & here. Italy, Portugal, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, etc are a few countries with Birth Sex Ratio at 107. Therefore, there will always be more boys than girls under 15 years of age in India. Also, the sex ratio is greater than 1 male per female up to 54 yrs of age globally. It starts tapering off after that because men have a lower life expectancy than women. Fun fact: Indian men have life expectancy of 66.9 as compare to 69.9 for women (Feminism! duh).

The above data is from CIA World Factbook. I do not believe the CIA India numbers as they do not match the 2011 Census sex ratios (Census 2011 has 0-14 sex ratio at 1.09), but have shown them here for transparency. India also has a much lower overall life expectancy as compared to US, UK, Canada, China among others due to poverty & inadequate healthcare. This is a major reason why the overall Indian male/female ratio seems higher, as India has a much lower % of population above 60 (8.58%, 2011 Census) as compared to say, US (18.5%).


CLAIM 1 AND REBUTTAL: 7 million were ‘killed’ in age group 1-6

Source: 2011 Census Data File (Note: In the census, I read 0-4 as 0-5 yrs; 5-9 as 5-10 yrs; 10-14 as 10-15 yrs and so on)

There were 11.280 Crore kids in age group 0-5 yrs of which 5.863 Cr were boys & 5.417 Cr were girls. If we consider the natural ratio of 1.07 boy per girl, we should have 5.48 Cr girls. So there were 6.2 lakh girls less than what 1.07 ratio would have. This is either due to

  1. Female foeticide
  2. Girls getting Lesser healthcare
  3. Natural reasons (ie. if natural birth sex ratio of India is higher than 1.07)
  4. Murder/missing
  5. Combination of all

In any case, the number is not even 1/10th of what she claims.

CLAIM 2 AND REBUTTAL: 11 million were ‘killed’ in age group 7-15

From the same data file of census 2011, boy population aged 5-15 was 13.572 Cr and girl population was 12.39 Cr. If we stick to the 1.07 ratio, we find that there are 29 lakh girls less than what we forecast. Adjusting for 7-15 age group, the number is 23 lakh, and not 11 million as claimed. As I showed in my twitter thread, 1.4 million out of 2.3 million of these extra girl deaths were of girls aged 0-6 in 2001 over the next 10 yrs till 2011 census. The rest of the extra girl deaths can be attributed to baby girls born after 2001.

The reasons could be the same as given in Rebuttal 1.

CLAIM 3 AND REBUTTAL: ” ‘Killings’ increase with age”

Source: Estimates of mortality indicators – Census of India

There is a drastic drop in death rates of children post 5 years of age, for both boys and girls. This is especially pronounced in rural India. In fact, rural girls aged 0-5 have a higher risk of death than boys, most likely due to lower immunization & possibly lower healthcare attention (otherwise the 5-14 rural girl death rate should also have been higher than boys). There could be other reasons as well. For example, Anaemia disproportionately affects girls and women and is a major epidemic in India as evidenced here & here.

Also, ‘killings’ cannot increase with age without us Indians knowing because it is really not easy to keep murders of such children hidden. National Crime Records Bureau murder victim data does not support this claim. I don’t think I need to spend more time on this nonsense.

CLAIM 4 AND REBUTTAL“Urban areas have more ‘killings’ “

Rural India has 68.8% of India’s population. The death rates in rebuttal 3 clearly show that rural India sees more girl as well as boy deaths as compared to urban India.

From the census highlights we see that Overall sex ratio improved more in Urban India, whereas the drop was also less in child sex ratio in Urban India. The only question that remains unanswered to me is: Why is there a drop in child sex ratio for kids born after 2005, especially in rural India?

Could something like this be a factor?


Feminists will surely claim that Indian sex ratios are skewed wholly due to infanticide or foeticide. It is a disgrace that we let people who cannot understand data set narratives for us. At the same time, health facilities across the country need to be improved along with nutrition. We now know that climate change & wars can also affect birth sex ratios, this is surely an area which needs more non-biased research.

Nature does discriminate, for good, or for worse.