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Fertility rate and population explosion

  • Category
    Society
  • Published
    20th Aug, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted “population explosion” and underscored the need for “social awareness” to deal with this concern in his Independence Day address to the nation

Context

Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted “population explosion” and underscored the need for “social awareness” to deal with this concern in his Independence Day address to the nation

About

  • The latest estimates (for 2017) by the Sample Registration System (SRS) under the Registrar General of India (RGI) have pegged the country’s TFR at 2.2. This is only marginally more than the replacement rate which stands at 2.1.
  • Seven states — Uttar Pradesh (3.0), Bihar (3.2), Madhya Pradesh (2.7), Rajasthan (2.6), Assam (2.3), Chhattisgarh (2.4) and Jharkhand (2.5) — that account for about 45 per cent of the total population in the 2011 Census recorded a higher TFR than the national average. They are witnessing a declining trend in fertility rates.
  • Relatively well-off states in the south — Kerala (1.7), Tamil Nadu (1.6), Karnataka (1.7), Maharashtra (1.7), Andhra Pradesh (1.6) and Telangana (1.7) — demonstrate fertility rates below the rate required for population replacement.
  • An “illiterate” woman is likely to give birth to 2.9 children on average, a “literate” woman will produce fewer (2.1) children. Women with education levels of Class 10 and above have been recorded to have a TFR below the replacement rate (2.1).
  • Urban areas have been usually found to have a lower TFR than rural areas. While the TFR declined from 5.4 to 2.4 from 1971 to 2017 in rural areas, the decline in urban areas slipped below the replacement rate from 4.1 to 1.7 during the same period.
  • Based on specific age groups in the reproductive span of 15-49, “fertility declined in the older age groups in rural areas while it increased for the corresponding age groups in urban areas in the last decade.
  • The decline in fertility is slower in the middle age groups 20-34 for both the areas. The minimum decline of 2.6% has been noticed in the age group 30-34 at national level. Fertility, however, declines from age 30 in all the bigger states/UTs, except Jammu & Kashmir where it declines from age 35.

About Sample Registration System

  • Office of the Registrar General, India, under the Home Ministry initiated Sample Registration System (SRS) in 1964-65 on a pilot basis and on full scale from 1969-70.
  • The SRS since then has been providing data on regular basis. It provides accurate, up-to-date fertility and mortality data via registration of births and deaths.
  • The SRS also looks at other indicators such as total fertility ratio (TFR), age specific/marital fertility rate, gross reproduction rate along with sex ratio at birth.
  • It thus helps in an adequate evaluation of a number of programs in the health sector, including family planning, maternal and reproductive health, and immunization programs.
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