The Indian Census
- Every decade, India conducts a national census under the Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner of India. This initiative primarily utilized the most recent census, from the year 2011, for analysis. The next census operation is scheduled for 2020-2021.
- The census had the enormous task of surveying a population of 1.25 billion people in an area of 1.3 million square miles (3.3 million square kilometers). 2,700,000 officials visited 29 states and 7 union territories, covering over 600,000 villages.
- The census team managed to conduct this within a budget of US$340 million (₹2,200 crore), less than $0.50 per person. For comparison, the estimated world average for a census is about $4.60 per person.
- CensusInfo India, published by the Government of India, contains over 500 datasets with information on topics ranging from child preference to endangered species to sanitation facilities.
Data Manipulation and Analysis
- Important pieces of information used for this initiative to detect the presence of female infanticide include child (0-6 years old) gender ratio, adult gender ratio, child gender preference surveys, literacy rates, numbers of boys and girls, etc. It is important to have a comparison of the differences between the numbers of boys and girls as well as the child gender ratio.
- Much of the research in India on female infanticide happens at the higher geographic level of States and Union Territories. This initiative also attempts to take the analysis down to the level of cities and towns in order to identify trends and glean insights that can allow authorities and NGOs to combat the problem of female infanticide at a more local level.
- To this end, data for the top 500 most populous cities in India was analyzed. This led to a dataset consisting of a population nearly equal to that of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Spain put together, or 221 million people. The largest municipality had a population of 12 million people (Greater Mumbai, Maharashtra), while the smallest had a population of 100 thousand (Nagda, Madhya Pradesh). The dataset contains 22 different categories of information for each city, ranging from its child gender ratio to its total number of female graduates.
- When research is performed on a narrower geographical scale, local communities can be alerted to step up action to address the problem.