Women & Men in India 2021 (A statistical compilation of Gender related Indicators in India)


This report – the 23rd issue in the Women & Men in India series – was published on March 31, 2022, by the Social Statistics Division at the National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India. It compiles a set of socio-economic statistical indicators on men and women in India. The report seeks to evaluate the outcome of government initiatives aimed at reducing gender differences and inequalities in the country. Considering such data invaluable in understanding the impact of gender inequality on both men and women, the report collects available gender statistics for readers in a single volume.

The 216-page document contains seven chapters: Population and Related Statistics (Chapter 1); Health Statistics (Chapter 2); Education (Chapter 3); Participation in Economy (Chapter 4); Participation in Decision Making (Chapter 5); Impediments in Empowerment (Chapter 6); and Minimum Set of Gender Indicators (Chapter 7).


  1. India’s projected population for 2021 was 1,363 million with a female population at 662.3 million (48.65 per cent). The sex ratio was projected to increase from 943 females per 1,000 males in 2011, to 945 females in 2021. As per Census 2011, the sex ratio in the age group 0-6 years was 918 females per 1,000 males. The overall sex ratio in the same age group was below 900 in as high as nine states/UTs (such as Haryana and Gujarat).

  2. As per the Population Projections for India and States, 2011-2036 published by the National Commission on Population, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the life expectancy at birth for males was 68.2 years in 2014-18 and was expected to rise to 69.4 years during 2021-25. Among females, the life expectancy at birth was 70.7 years in 2014-18 and expected to rise to 72.7 years during 2021-25.

  3. The overall adolescent fertility rate – defined as the “annual number of births to women aged 15-19 years per 1,000 women in that age group” by the World Health Organization – declined from 12.2 in 2018 to 10.6 in 2019.

  4. According to the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5), the percentage of mothers who received postnatal care from a qualified health personnel within two days of delivery increased from 62.4 per cent in NFHS-4 to 78 per cent in NFHS-5.

  5. Citing the NFHS-5 survey, the report states that the percentage of institutional births in India went up from 78.9 per cent in NFHS-4 to 88.6 per cent in NFHS-5. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Goa, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu have achieved almost 100 per cent institutional deliveries, the report notes.

  6. The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) – defined as the “number of women who die as a result of complications of pregnancy or childbearing in a given year per 100,000 live births in that year” by the Office of the Registrar General of India – fell from 113 in 2016-18 to 103 in 2017-19.

  7. Data from the National Statistical Office (NSO) shows that the overall literacy rate in the country has increased from 73 per cent to 77.7 per cent between 2011 and 2017. However, the gap between male and female literacy rates at 84.7 and 70.3 per cent respectively remains high.

  8. According to the statistics from the Ministry of Education, Government of India, there were 92 girls per 100 boys enrolled in primary school and 94 girls per 100 boys in upper primary. For secondary and senior secondary schools, the enrolment rate was 92 and 95 girls respectively per 100 boys.

  9. The NSO’s Periodic Labour Force Survey for 2018-19 and 2019-20 showed that the worker population ratio (WPR) – “size of workforce as percentage of population” in ‘current weekly status’ – among females in rural areas increased from 19 per cent in 2018-19 to 24 per cent in 2019-20. In urban areas it increased from 14.5 to 16.8 per cent. For males, the WPR for both years was more than 50 per cent in both rural and urban areas.

  10. As per NSO data from 2019, females in India spent an average 280 minutes daily on unpaid domestic and caregiving services for household members. Whereas the corresponding figure for males was 36 minutes.

  11. Across India, the representation of women in state assemblies was nine per cent, the report notes. Mizoram led at 26 per cent, followed by West Bengal and Chhattisgarh at 14 per cent. Gujarat, Jharkhand and Rajasthan each had 12 per cent women representatives in their state assemblies.

  12. According to 2020 data from the National Crime Records Bureau, the most practised offences against women in India were ‘cruelty by husband and relatives’ (30 per cent), ‘assault on woman with intent to outrage her modesty’ (23 per cent), and ‘kidnapping and abduction’ (17 per cent).

    Focus and Factoids by Abizar Shaikh.

    PARI Library's health archive project is part of an initiative supported by the Azim Premji University to develop a free-access repository of health-related reports relevant to rural India.


Social Statistics Division, National Statistical Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, New Delhi


Social Statistics Division, National Statistical Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, New Delhi


31 Mar, 2022