Boy:Girl Ratio in India Raises Concerns

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A new census in India revealed a growing gender gap between children in the country, sparking "grave concern" among officials that parents who preferred sons were getting abortions.

Currently, for every 1,000 boys under the age of six, there are only 914 girls. Ten years ago, there were 927 girls per 1,000 boys.

"Whatever policies we have been following need a complete review because we are not able to arrest the decline in child sex ratio," Indian Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said.

"I think that is really the message... whatever measures that have been put into [place] over the last 40 years has not had any impact on child sex ratio," Pillai said.

Indians prefer male children over females because of the enormous expense of arranged marriages. Males are also seen as providers who will stay with their families and be less of a burden.

India now prevents doctors from telling parents the sex of their unborn children because the government fears parents would abort girls.

The census also showed a striking growth in population. India now makes up 17 percent of the world's population with more than 1.2 billion residents.

That's more people than the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Japan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan combined.

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