COIMBATORE: Data on religious affiliation of Indians as per Census 2011 shows that females outnumber males among Muslims and Christians in Tamil Nadu, while the male count is on the higher side among Hindus. At the national-level, among Christians, there are more females than males.
Of the 7.21 crore population in Tamil Nadu, males accounted for 3.61 crore and females 3.6 crore (49.91%). Among the 6.32 crore Hindus in the State, there are 3.17 crore males and 3.14 crore (49.81%) females.
Of the 42.29 lakh Muslims in the State, 21.30 lakh (50.37%) were females and 20.99 lakh males. Among the 44.18 lakh Christians, 22.47 lakh (50.85%) were females and 21.71 lakh males.
In the case of Sikh, Buddhist and Jain communities in Tamil Nadu, the male population outnumbered the female population.
Of the 1.89 lakh people in Tamil Nadu who opted not to mention their religion, around one lakh were females and around 89,000 males.
At the national level, men outnumber women among Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains. Christians, however, are an exception in this regard. Of the 2.78 crore Christians in the country, 1.41 crore were females and 1.38 crore male.
Commenting on the higher sex ratio among Muslims and Christians in Tamil Nadu, S Anandhi, Associate Professor, Madras Institute of Development Studies, said, “It is very likely that these communities do not follow certain customs that lead to an adverse sex ratio. For the sex ratio to go up, it is quite clear that there should be no female infanticide. The overall interest of a community in the well-being of women as something to be sustained throughout their life could be another reason.”
Anandhi added that other factors like the awareness and education-level among women and their decision-making capacity to prioritise their health were equally important.
“Sex selection of children does not prevail in the Christian community. Also, the church is against abortion. That could be a reason for the higher sex ratio in the community,” said Bernard D Sami of Loyola College.
“Generally, the sex ratio in Tamil Nadu is higher than the national average. This is the case in all southern states. Only in the northern states is the number of females less than that of males,” he added.