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Government worried about teen pregnancies in India

  • Published
    29th Jul, 2022

The Health Ministry has released Family Planning Vision- 2030 document which indicated on teen pregnancies even after a stabilized fertility rate in India.

  • India is the second largest country in the world. The country’s population is expected to continue to grow until mid-century; however, the population growth will decline substantially.
  • India’s population has reached 136.3 crore (1.36 billion) and is expected to reach 147.9 crore (1.47 billion) by 2031 and further 152.2 crore (1.52 billion) by 2036.
  • The adolescent population will reach 22.9 crore (229 million) by 2031 and further 22 crore (220 million) by 2036, which will be a cause of concern if the scenario of teen pregnancies remain to continue.

Let us see some data on these issues.

Key highlights

According to the Ministry of Health, these are the following observations:

  • More Teen pregnancies: Over 118 districts reported high percentage of teenage pregnancies and are mostly concentrated in Bihar (19), West Bengal (15), Assam (13), Maharashtra (13), Jharkhand (10), Andhra Pradesh (7), and Tripura (4).
  • Low age of Marriage: Over 44% of the districts in India reported high percentage of women marrying before they reach the age of 18.
  • Less Use of Contraceptives: These districts were in the States of Bihar (17), West Bengal (8), Jharkhand (7), and Assam (4), two each in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. These districts also experience low rates of modern contraceptive use.

What is Fertility Rate?

  • Total fertility rate (TFR)is the average number of children born to a woman in her reproductive years (15-49 years).
  • The total fertility rate (TFR) is an important factor in determining the population growth and demographic stability of a country.

Replacement Level Fertility

  • Replacement level fertility is the level of fertility at which a population exactly replaces itself from one generation to the next, i.e., the level of fertility needed to keep the population the same from generation to generation.
  • The TFR of 2.1 ensures the replacement of the woman and her partner. Another 0.1 children per woman are included to counteract infant mortality.

UN projection of Human Population

  • United Nations (UN) projects that the global human population may increase from 7.8 billion in 2020 to 10.9 billion by 2100.
  • A 40% population increase would have a strong impact on economies, food production, environment, and global climate.
  • Based on these observations and the on-going global decline in TFR, the United Nations through its medium projection model has predicted that TFR in all countries will converge to near replacement level (2.1) during the decades up to 2100.

Hence it is important to understand the causes of population growth for aspects of international and national planning for the future.


Decline in Fertility Rates vs. Teen Pregnancies

Decline in Fertility rate

Teen Pregnancies

The Reason behind the decline in fertility rates can be assessed as;

  • Higher level of education among females
  • Increased mobility
  • Late marriages
  • Financial independence
  • Better access to family planning methods/ high contraceptive prevalence rate
  • The declining infant mortality rate
  • The declining neonatal mortality rate


However, the increase in Teen pregnancies had been justified under the following heads;

  • Low Use of Contraceptives by Teens: As per NFHS-4, only 7% married adolescents and 26% young women were using modern methods of contraception, which increased to 19% and 32% respectively in NFHS-5.
  • Early Marriages: Less age of marriage and lack of awareness lead to teen age pregnancies.
  • Lack of alternatives for contraception: Male sterilisation was at 0.3%. Overall male participation was also determined by perception towards women’s contraceptive use.

Important Government interventions

  • Adolescent Friendly Health Services Program:Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram is there where female adolescents are sensitised about their health.
  • Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY): Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) is a safe motherhood intervention under the National Health Mission (NHM).
  • JSY is a 100% centrally sponsored scheme and it integrates cash assistance with delivery and post-delivery care.
  • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY): PMMVY is a scheme for pregnant women and lactating mothers. The scheme has crossed the mark of 1 crore beneficiaries.
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