GS Paper - 2 (Polity)

While the national average of underage marriages has come down, the rate has increased in Punjab, West Bengal, Manipur, Tripura and Assam, according to the fifth round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS), conducted between 2019 and 2021. The latest data — NFHS-5 — were released by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in Vadodara, Gujarat.

According to NFHS-5

  1. 23.3% of women surveyed got married before attaining the legal age of 18 years, down from 26.8% reported in NFHS-4. The figure for underage marriage among men is 17.7% (NFHS-5) and 20.3% (NFHS-4).
  2. Some of the biggest gains in improving legal marriage have been seen in Chhattisgarh, where underage marriages have come down from 21.3% to 12.1% among women and from 26.9% to 16.2% among men; Haryana (19.4% to 12.5% for women, and 23.9% to 16% for men); Madhya Pradesh (32.4% to 23.1% for women), Rajasthan (35.5% to 25.5% among women, 35.7% to 28.2% for men).
  3. Underage marriages are lowest in J&K, Lakshadweep, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Nagaland, Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, according to NFHS-5.
  4. Domestic violence has come down marginally from 31.2% in 2015-16 to 29.3% in 2019-21, data show.
  5. Total Fertility Rates, an average number of children per woman, has declined from 2.2 (NFHS-4) to 2.0 at the national level.
  6. The Survey says only five states are above replacement level of fertility of 2.1: Bihar (2.98), Meghalaya (2.91), Uttar Pradesh (2.35), Jharkhand (2.26) Manipur (2.17).
  7. Institutional births have increased substantially from 79% to 89%.