India's latest census revealed a disturbing trend: There are far fewer girls born each year than boys.
Activists say the disparity is deliberate.
Much of Indian culture regards boys as assets to families and girls as liabilities. Some families are using ultrasound technology to determine the gender of fetuses and then aborting the females.
The process has been going on for decades, leading to a shortage of marriageable girls that is beginning to make itself felt all over India.
Dr. C. Chandramouli, India's census commissioner, says the numbers don't lie: The girls are missing.
Among children under 6 years old in India today, there are only 940 girls for every 1,000 boys. Worldwide, it's around 986 to every 1,000.
Chandramouli says this is a continuation of a trend that was first seen clearly in the 2000 census — but the new figures show the problem is spreading.
As a comparison, I would like to compare these results with census' taken in other countries to see whether it is a universal trend or localised.