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A government survey has suggested that more Indians prefer to stay unmarried. In about eight years from 2011-2019, the proportion of unmarried persons within the age bracket of 15-29 years has increased from 17.2 per cent to 23 per cent, the government survey said.

In the National Youth Policy 2014, those aged 15 to 29 years are classified as youth.

The National Statistical Office report states that the percentage of the unmarried population in the age bracket of 15-29 years has shown an increasing trend in the male population from 20.8 per cent in 2011 to 26.1 per cent in 2019.

A similar trend was observed in the female population. The proportion of unmarried females increased from 13.5 per cent in 2011 to 19.9 per cent in 2019.

The report said that the most number of unmarried youth was observed in 2019 in the states/UTs of Jammu & Kashmir. J&K was followed by Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Punjab. The lowest proportion has been observed in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

Reason: The report states none.

'EARLY MARRIAGES DECLINING'

The report states that the early marriage trend in India has been declining over time. Age at marriages has also increased, it said.

The report said that among the adolescent women, in the age bracket of 15-19 years, 1.7 per cent of women have been first married by the age of 15 years during 2019-2021 as compared to 11.9 per cent in 2005-2006.

A significant reduction has been observed in the level of age at first marriage for women in the 25-29 years age cohort as only 52.8 per cent of women have been first married by the age of 20 years during 2019-2021 as compared to 72.4 per cent in 2005-06, it stated.

As compared to women, men in India tend to marry considerably later. A total of 42.9 per cent male population, in the age group of 25-29 years, were first married by the age of 25 years in 2019-21. The percent was nearly double for women.

The more educated the woman is, the higher the median age at marriage. The medium age among women, in the age group of 25-29, who have passed Class 12 or are more educated exceeded the median age among women having no schooling by 5.5 years during 2019-21.

The report said that the median age at marriage has increased by two years for those women who have never gone to school as compared to 1.2 years for those who have completed their primary education.

The percentage of women aged 20-24 years married before age 18 years in the country has halved in the last 15 years from 47 per cent in 2005-2006 to 23 per cent in 2019-21. Similarly, teenage pregnancy and motherhood have declined from 16 per cent to 7 per cent during the same period, it stated.

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