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The proportion of unmarried youth in the country’s population is increasing rapidly. According to a survey report, in 2011, out of the total youth population of the country, unmarried youth were 17.2%, which has increased to 23 percent in 2019. Apart from this, the average age of marriage of youth has also increased. The average age of marriage was 17.4 years in 2005-06, which has increased to 19.7 years during 2019-21. According to the National Youth Policy, 2014, people in the age group of 15-29 years are considered young.
According to a survey report by the Office for National Statistics, the number of young men who have never married has increased from 20.8 percent in 2011 to 26.1 percent. The number of women in the same category was also 13.5% in 2011, which has increased to 19.9 in 2019. Although the report did not give any reason for the increase in the proportion of unmarried youth, it said that the practice of early marriage in India has declined sharply.
42.9% of men married at the age of 25
The data showed that during 2019-21, 1.7% of adolescent girls (15-19 years) had their first marriage at the age of 15, compared to 11.9% in 2005-06. According to the report, in comparison to the state-wise population in 2019, the highest unmarried youth population was in Jammu and Kashmir, followed by Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Punjab. Whereas, this number was lowest in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
52.8% of women married at the age of 20
Regarding the age of marriage, it has been told in the report that there has been a big change on this front in the last few years. During 2019-2021, 52.8% of women in the age group of 25-29 years were married by the age of 20, as against 72.4 percent in 2005-06. During 2019-21, 42.9% of men aged 25-29 in the country got married at the age of 25, while this percentage among women was around 83 percent.
Average age of marriage of women increased with the proportion of education
According to the survey report, the age of marriage of women was recorded increasing in proportion to their education. During 2019-21, the average age of marriage for women aged 25-29 who spent 12 years or more pursuing education was 5.5 years higher than that of women who did not attend schooling. The good news is that the average age of marriage for women who have not completed schooling has increased by 2 years and for women who have not completed even primary education by 1.2 years.
50% reduction in marriage of minor girls
In the last 15 years, the number of women aged 20-24 who were married before the age of 18 has halved. Their number was around 47 per cent in 2005-06, which has come down to 23 per cent in 2019-21. Similarly, there has been a big difference in the rates of teenage girls getting pregnant and becoming mothers. Their number was about 16 per cent in 2005-06, which has come down to just 7 per cent in 2019-21.
Youth population will start decreasing
According to the estimates of the Technical Group on India’s Population 2011-2036, in 2021, about 27.3 percent of India’s total population of 1363 million were youths in the age group of 15-29 years. By 2036 the proportion of youth in the population will begin to decline. The youth population will decline to 34.55 crore in 2036 as compared to 37.14 crore youth in 2021.