More than 20 per cent of girls in Karnataka get married before the age of 18, the minimum legal age for marriage.

According to a district-level household and facility survey (DLHS-3, 2010), 11.1 per cent boys and 22.4 per cent girls get married before attaining the minimum legal age for marriage.

The average age at marriage for boys in the State is 26.1 years, while for girls it is 19.8 years.

The latest data on the on the district- and State-level indicators on health and family welfare is based on 29,000 sample households.

The survey was conducted by the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, and the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The average age at marriage for boys in rural and urban areas in the State is 25.9 years and 26.7 years respectively.

The average age at marriage for girls in rural and urban areas is 19.4 years and 20.7 years respectively.

Institutional delivery

The 186-page survey states that institutional delivery is 65 per cent in the State and the percentage ranges from 24.7 per cent in Koppal district to 96 per cent in Dakshina Kannada.

Only 14.4 per cent of institutional deliveries have received Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) assistance.

The JSY is a centrally sponsored scheme that targets people living below the poverty line, encourages women to deliver babies in hospital and provides them with financial assistance.

The average cost of delivery in a government health facility is Rs. 2,037 and Rs. 7,104 in a private hospital.

The survey says that less than 50 pet cent women (46 per cent) initiate breastfeeding within an hour of birth of the child, and this is least practised in Gadag district (27.3 per cent) and most widely practised in Dakshina Kannada (66.3 per cent).

It notes that contraceptive prevalence rate among currently married women is 63.2 per cent in the State. The prevalence of female sterilisation in Dakshina Kannada (35.6 per cent) is lower than the State average of 58.3 per cent and is the lowest in the State.

Female sterilisation is the highest in Mandya (76 per cent).

Overwhelming majority of youth is in favour of introducing sex education at the school level, despite political controversy and opposition from some religious groups.

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