Hook Me Not! J&K Has Highest Number Of Unmarried Youth In India: Report

Srinagar- A latest report from the Ministry of Statistics and programme implementation has observed that in 2019, J&K had the highest percentage share of youth who never married.

According to the report titled “Youth in India, 2022”, in 2019, 29.1 percent of youth in J&K were those who never married with the highest number recorded among males. For male gender, the percentage stood at 30.1 percent in 2019 while for females, it stood at 28.1 percent.

As per the report, J&K is followed by Uttar Pradesh (26.7 percent), Delhi(26.5 percent) and Punjab (25 percent).

The report further said that the lowest was observed in Kerala(18.3 percent), Tamil Nadu(20.2 percent), Andhra Pradesh(20.7 percent) and Himachal Pradesh(20.8 percent).

The national record, the report noted, stood at 23 percent with 26.1 percent men and 19.9 percent women falling under the “who never married” category.

Interestingly, the figures have come at a time when J&K’s Total Fertility Rate(TRF) has hit a grueling demographic milestone as the erstwhile state has fifth lowest Total Fertility rate(TFR) in the country besides the women’s TFR slipping below the replacement-level by 0.6 percent.

A superficial look at the figures clearly indicates that the percentage share of young people who are not married is on the rise in J&K with the trend being common among both men and women. The percentage of youth who are never married has shown an increasing trend in J&K from 25.3 percent in 2011 to 29.1 percent in 2019.

The ministry of statistics and programme implementation classifies persons between the age group of 15 and 29 years as ‘youth’.

According to the report, in J&K, for the age group(including both males and females) of 15-19, 9.5 percent are “who never married”, for the 20-24 age group, the number was recorded at 10.7 percent and for 25-29, the percentage stood at 8.9 percent.

The report has also said that India’s population, which reached 1211 million in 2011 and projected to reach 1363 million in 2021, was one of the youngest in the world, with 27.3 percent of its population aged 15–29 years.

Proportion of youth to the total population of the country had increased from 26.6% in 1991 to 27.9% in 2016 and then declined and would reach 22.7% by 2036, according to the Youth in India 2022 report.

On the contrary, the proportion of the elderly population has increased from 6.8% in 1991 to 9.2% in 2016 and is projected to reach 14.9% in 2036, it said. “Therefore, it can be predicted that a greater proportion of youth at present will result in a greater proportion of elderly in the population in future,” the report noted.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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