Marriage Squeeze in Indian Sikh Community: A Generational Challenge

Amand Blanes, CED
Nachatter Singh, Centre for Demographic Studies

Since 1990’s, rapidly decreasing fertility, female foeticide and mass emigration (males) have disturbed the demographic structure (121 boys for 100 girls, in 2011) of Indian Sikh population and the balance of traditional Sikh marriage market in India. Moreover, changing gender roles, universal education and consistent better performance of women in high education as compared to men (who are expelled to Western countries for unskilled jobs) has created another problem for match making in the Sikh society, where the marriage is universal. In this paper, our main objectives are 1) To project the Sikh population of India for the coming five decades (2011 to 2061) with three different scenarios about the changes in sex ratio at birth; 2) To make an assessment of the current situation in the Sikh marriage market in India and to simulate marriage patterns over the period 2011-2061, with a two-sex cohort-based procedure, applying the female dominance model; and 3) To test some hypothetical demographic adjustment (like changing age at marriage, flexible age difference among spouses and religious exogamy) to deal with the expected marriage squeeze in the community. For this paper, we are using data from 2011 Indian Census records on religious communities and three rounds of NFHS 1992-93, 1998-99 and 2005-06 of India. We have calculated the timing and intensity of future Marriage squeeze for males in the Sikh community, which will start affecting the generations of Sikh males born after 1990, and the millennial generation (born during 2000-2010), will be the worst hit by the marriage squeeze. This marriage squeeze will reach to its peak in late 2030’s. We have also tested some possible socio-demographic adjustments in the form of changes in the age at marriage and the age difference between spouses to overcome the shortage of brides in some cohorts.

Presented in Poster Session 1