1.18 Crore men have gone missing in India over the past four years: NFHS-5

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1.18 Crore men have gone missing in India over the past four years: NFHS-5

IIPS, in collaboration with other organisations authorised by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), conducts the National Family Health Survey, which is financed by USAID and UNICEF. There have been five such surveys to date, and Indian legislators rely heavily on the NHFS data when it comes to “assuming” about the ground reality.

The most current survey, NFHS-5, was conducted from 2019 to 2021, and some major findings were just released. The important findings are available on the NFHS website, however, we’d like to call attention to what was either disregarded or overly celebrated in order to hide India’s biggest “GENDER-SCAM.”


  • In NFHS-5, the female-to-male ratio has risen to 1020 women over 1000 men. The same ratio was 991 in NFHS-4 (2015-2016). So, there is an almost 3% rise, or 29/1000.

Feminist theory advocates are celebrating the occasion.

  • The sex ratio at birth increased by 1% from NFHS-4 to NFHS-5, i.e. from 919 to 929 females over 1000 males.

So, while there are only 10 more female births, 29 males are missing from the entire population, resulting in a total loss of around 19 (1.9%) men. Even if we assume the entire population remains the same as Census 2011, which was 62,37,24,248 total men, we have lost an estimated 1,18,50,760, or 1.18 crore men.

  • Under-15 population has fallen from 28.6% in NFHS-4 to 26.5% in NFHS-5. In other words, we are getting older as a country.

This leads to another conclusion: the MISSING MEN OF INDIA are largely adults. Looking at the increase in suicides among men (adults) according to NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs) data, the derivation makes intuitive sense.

  • From NFHS-4 to NFHS-5, the percentage of women who completed 10 years of schooling increased by 5.3%, while for men, it increased only by 3.1%.

This also highlights how the male gender’s school dropout rate is significantly greater than the female gender’s. The majority of males are forced to work as children, and the number continues to rise. As a result, there is a lower rise of 10Y schooling among boys/men. However, no one will raise this issue with the Ministry of Women and Child Development or the Ministry of Education.

  • NFHS-5 estimates that there are 15.6% of men with diabetes while 13.5% of women have diabetes.

  • The rate of high blood pressure in men is also 24%, while it is 21.3% among women.

As a consequence, the two leading causes of death in India, Cardiac Disease and Diabetes, killed more men than women. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, on the other hand, will continue to overlook this deadly effect on males.

  • Last but not least, consider the NFHS-5 Questionnaire, which was 96 pages long for women but only 38 pages long for males. So much so that while there are several known incidents and court observations of Men being victims of Domestic Violence, the questions concerning being a victim of Domestic Violence were NOT ASKED FROM THE MALE GROUP. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?

  • Earlier when we suggested to NHFS-4 that they include questions on Domestic Violence on Men as well, they responded in writing, “It can’t be included at this stage as data module capturing software already finalised and our suggestion will be considered next time” THE SAME WASN’T DONE IN NFHS-5, and the bias persisted. Intentionally, this has been avoided in order to conceal the true statistics on domestic violence among men.

So, while the NFHS poll has exhibited severe BIAS in both genders, the data plainly reveals that crimes committed against men in the country are conveniently downplayed by everyone, be it society, laws or government. E.g.:

  1. There are more than 1.18 Crores MISSING MEN. These Missing men also include Groom Burning, Husband Murder, Male Suicides as a big component. As per NCRB, Family Issues are the biggest reason for Suicides. India forces over 1.08 lakh men to commit suicide every year & the number keep growing (already 2.5 times that of Women) but no effort made by the Government or Law Makers to reduce the same.

  2. Of these MISSING MEN, more are from age more than 15 years. But “11.8 MILLION INDIAN MEN MISSING” won’t be a campaign that will interest the world, as who cares about the lives of Men?

  3. Boys School Dropout rate, Boys Child Labour Rate and Boys sexual assault rate don’t bother society or the Government or the Law Makers. That’s why the Law Makers conveniently made Boys an easier target of sexual crimes by making changes to the Rape Law. There is a clear intentional downplay of the suffering of #Beta of India.

  4. Men’s Health will continue to be ignored as probably Breast cancer has higher importance than Prostate cancer or Life of Women, Plants; Animals are of a higher value than that of Men.

  5. Lastly, surveys like NFHS, which clearly scream of BIAS in their data selection and data collection will continue to be the basis of Law Making in India because CRIME AGAINST MEN will be ignored forever.

Hence, we strongly recommend following to the Government of India to:

  1. Issue a National Helpline for Suicide Prevention only for Men & Boys

  2. Form National Commission for Men to look into clear issues faced by the Male gender

  3. Separate Child ministry from WCD Ministry and make it as a separate Ministry

  4. Boys Education, Boys Child Labour, Boys Sexual Assault, all need to get the same priority as that for girls

  5. NFHS must be directed to have a Gender Neutral survey questionnaire, the process for data collection [there can always be sections which may not be applicable to the one being surveyed]