Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir recorded the lowest percentage of the married population in India compared to other states and union territories, reveals the data of the Sample Registration System (SRS) Statistical Report 2022.
As per the data, J&K has only 40.3 percent married population, which is less than the national average of 45.2 percent.
It included 37.7 percent male and 43 percent female.
Besides, as many as 58 percent of people never got married in J&K.
Bihar (59.3 percent) has the highest number of populations which never got married followed by J&K.
The national average of never-married people was reported at 51.6 percent of the total population.
Meanwhile, among the married population above 10 years of age, J&K with 46.2 percent recorded the lowest percentage while Andhra Pradesh recorded the highest percentage with 59.5 percent.
Kashmir-based sociologist Dr Aftab told Greater Kashmir that the reasons behind late marriages and never married percentage in J&K were the dowry system, career-oriented youth aiming for a comfortable life, casteism, unemployment, stress, and alternative to marriages to satisfy physical needs.
He said people were losing the sanity of marriage which had become an economic issue rather than a spiritual and social bond between two persons.
“Nowadays, people, especially parents, have to sacrifice their entire earnings and money to show off in marriages. People would not prefer marriage until and unless they have a good job, status, and things to show off. These materialistic things have become a burden in society and people are responsible for it,” Dr Aftab said.
He said that the average marriageable age in Kashmir had increased to above 30 years.
“Issues like lack of restraint in spending money on weddings and unemployment are social issues which contribute to late marriages. Late marriages are a big social issue. Demanding dowry from in-laws is also one of the reasons for late marriages,” Dr Aftab said.
At the national level, 64.5 percent of females aged 15 plus are married, the proportion being 65 percent in rural and 63.4 percent in urban areas.
Among the bigger states and union territories, the percentage of such married females varies from 53.5 percent in J&K to 68.4 in Haryana and Kerala.
The percentage of never-married females varies from 20.7 percent in Kerala to 43.4 percent in J&K.
Also, the percentage of females who got effectively married before reaching 18 years of age is 1.9 at the national level and varies from 0 percent in Kerala to 5.8 percent in Jharkhand.
The percentage of females marrying at the age of 21 years and above is 72.6 percent at the national level and varies from 45.1 percent in West Bengal to 90.7 percent in J&K.
At the national level, the mean age at effective marriage for females in the year 2020 is 22.7 years and varies from 22.2 years in rural areas to 23.9 years in urban areas.
Among the bigger states and union territories, the mean age varies from 21 years in West Bengal to 26 years in J&K.