Indian educated women
will find it more difficult to get an eligible partner by 2050, particularly if
they have been educated at university or college-level, says a new research.
The research theorises
that if current social norms persist by 2050 whereby university-educated or
college-educated men are more desirable spouses than women similarly educated,
there will be a 'mis-match' in numbers of 'suitable' men and women.
The study, published in
the journal 'Demography', involved researchers from the University of Oxford;
the Centre for Demographic Studies, Barcelona; and Minnesota Population Centre,
Their model assumes that
without a change in contemporary norms, the proportion of never-married women
aged 45-49 will go up from 0.07 percent in 2010 to nearly 9 percent by 2050,
with the most significant increase experienced by university-educated women.
The research also shows a
rise in the percentage of unmarried men, particularly among those with little
education. A significant proportion of Indian men currently marry women less
educated than themselves. The existing data was harmonised on current marriage
patterns by age and education and applied these to population projections on
the likely age, sex and educational attainment of the population in India by
2050 to develop scenarios for future marriage patterns.
The researchers studied
data from the National Family Health Survey, India (2005-06) and the India
Socio-Economic Survey (1999, 2004) that show 0.6 percent of all women and 1.2
percent of all men remain unmarried by the age of 50.
By 2050, there will be
around 92 men for every 100 women aged 25-29 with a university education, as
compared with 151 men for every 100 women from the same age group educated at
university in 2010, shows the existing population projection data from the
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and Vienna Institute of
The findings suggest that
if projected marriage patterns were solely focused on the age-sex structure of
the future population in India, men rather than women would have a problem
finding suitable marriage partners by 2050. However, once education is factored
in, the pool of suitable marriage partners for women shrinks - if current
eligibility criteria apply to future populations.
"Traditional roles and expectations for women and men in India
persist despite the significant social and demographic changes witnessed in
recent years. This research shows that the rigid social structure still
experienced in India will need to bend so age and education are not barriers to
future unions. Otherwise, this research suggests the prospects of marriage for
many in the future will diminish, particularly for highly educated women and
men with little education," said Lead author Ridhi Kashyap, from the
Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford.