Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir has the highest proportion of unmarried persons within the age bracket of 15 to 29 years, among all states and union territories, according to a government survey.
According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation's 'Youth in India 2022' study, J&K has a higher percentage of 29.1 percent of young people (aged up to 29 years) who are not married than the national average.
According to the most recent study, it is the highest percentage reported by any state or union territory in India.
In J&K, 25.3 percent of youth between the ages of 15 and 29 were single in 2011.
There were 27.1 percent of men and 23.5 percent of women who were single either by choice or necessity, making up the total population.
The proportion of young people who are not married rose to 25.9 percent in 2015 and then to 29.1 percent in 2019.
The report also showed that in J&K, more men than women between the ages of 15 and 29 are single.
According to a government survey, the percentage of people between the ages of 15 and 29 who are not married had climbed from 17.2 percent in 2011 to 23 percent across India.
According to the National Youth Policy, anyone between the age of 15 and 29 is considered young.
According to the National Statistical Office's most recent report, the percentage of young people (15-29 years old) who have never been married has increased in both the male and female populations, rising from 20.8 percent in 2011 to 26.1 percent in 2019.
A similar trend has also been seen in the female population.
However, the report did not attribute any reason to the rising proportion of unmarried youth.
It stated that early marriage in India had been declining over time.
The data showed that among the adolescent women (15-19 years), 1.7 percent of women have been first married by the age of 15 years during 2019-21 compared to 11.9 percent in 2005-06.
Age at marriage also seems to have increased over the years.
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 percent of women have been first married by the age of 20 years during 2019-2021 compared to 72.4 percent in 2005-06, it stated.
Men tend to marry considerably later than women in India since 42.9 percent of males in the 25-29 years age cohort were first married by the age of 25 years in 2019-21.
This percentage was almost double at 83 percent for females.
The percentage of the population who never married has also increased among both males and females in all age groups over the years.
The median age at first marriage increased steadily from 17.4 years in 2005-06 to 19.7 years in 2019-21 for women in the 25-29 age cohort.
A similar trend has also been observed for the median age at first cohabitation in the same age cohort during the same period.
It showed that the more educated the woman is, the higher the median age at first marriage, with the median among women aged 25-29 who have completed 12 or more years of education exceeding the median age among women having no schooling by 5.5 years during 2019-21.
One good thing is that the median age at marriage has increased by two years for women with no schooling and by 1.2 years for those who have not even completed their primary education during this period, it stated.
The percentage of women aged 20-24 years married before 18 years in the country has halved in the last 15 years from 47 percent in 2005-2006 to 23 percent in 2019-21.
Similarly, teenage pregnancy and motherhood have declined from 16 percent to 7 percent during the same period, it stated.
India's population, which reached 121 crore in 2011 and is projected to have reached 136 crore in 2021 makes India one of the youngest countries in the world with 27.3 percent of its population aged 15 to 29 years, the Report of Technical Group on Population Projections for India and States 2011-2036, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare said.