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11% households in India have a female head: Census Data

Richa Mishra | | Updated on: Dec 28, 2012

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About 27 million households, constituting 11 per cent of total households in the country, are headed by women. The highest number of female-headed households is in Lakshadweep at 43.7 per cent and in Kerala at 23 per cent.

These are among the findings of the Census Data on ‘Female Headed Households’ released on Friday by Minister of State for Home Affairs, R.P.N Singh. It is a part of the findings/results of the first phase of Census 2011 on “House Listing and Housing Census”.

Inaugurating a National Data Dissemination Workshop organised by the Registrar and Census Commissioner of India, Singh said availability of such detailed data would enable the Planning Commission and Government to finalise schemes.

Singh pointed out that significant improvement has been achieved in quality of houses but access to drinking water, electricity and sanitation are the areas where more needs to be done. 

C. Chandramouli, Registrar General & Census Commissioner, giving out the key highlights from Census 2011, said there were about 49 lakh single-member female households, of which three-fourth were in rural areas. 

In seven States -- Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Gujarat, the proportion of single-member female headed households was more than 20 per cent.

The proportion of male-headed households declined by 0.6 per cent in 2011 compared with 2001, while the proportion of female headed households increased by 0.5 per cent in the same period, the data showed. 

More than 60 per cent of female headed households had permanent houses, while in case of SC/ST categories amongst female-headed households the percentage was lower at 55.8 per cent and 33.4 per cent, respectively.

In a telling state of affairs in India, around 18 per cent of female-headed households had to travel more 500 metres in urban areas and one km in rural areas to get drinking water. 

While around 48 per cent of female-headed households had a latrine within the premises, around 59 per cent of such households had bathing facilities within the premises. 

Data further shows that around 45 per cent female-headed households live in one-room premises and about 42.5 per cent of female headed households use LPG/PNG as a fuel for cooking. 

Around 45 per cent of female headed houses have television as an asset, while in case of male headed households, the percentage increased to 47.5 per cent. Only 3.2 per cent of female headed households have Car/Jeep/Van while 4.8 per cent of male headed households have vehicles as an asset. 

The data also reveals that around 29 per cent of female headed households do not possess any asset such as radio/ TV/ telephone/bicycle/scooter/Car. However, in respect of male headed households, only 16.5 per cent have no assets. 

Published on December 28, 2012
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