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Nearly 63 million women are “missing” from India’s population due to foeticide, disease, neglect, or inadequate nutrition, a government survey says, adding that more than two million women disappear every year.

The survey, released on Monday, pointed out the phenomenon of “son preference” among Indians that has created an estimated 21 million “unwanted” girls.

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“Indian parents often continue to have children till they have the desired number of sons,” it said.

“Families that have sons are more likely to stop having children than families where a girl is born. This is suggestive of parents having children until they have as many sons as they want.”

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