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Fertility rates in India UPSC NOTE

 

  • Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred to Muslims in India as “those who have a large number of children”. 

  • A Data Point published on April 23 showed that the fertility rate of Muslims was 2.36 in 2019-21, much closer to the replacement level

  • The fertility rate is the average number of children a woman is expected to have in her lifetime

  • A rate of 2.1 (the ‘replacement level’) means that the population is stable.

Influences on fertility rates

  • Data show that the number of children one chooses to have has more to do with socio-economic parameters than religion

  • Government data show that educating girls and not marrying them off early, creating more awareness about family planning, and ensuring access to family planning measures help reduce fertility levels.

  • The fertility rate of Muslim women varies according to region. 

  • For instance, the fertility rate of Muslim women in Bihar was 3.6 in 2019-21, much higher than the 2.0 in Maharashtra

  • Similarly, the fertility rate of Muslim women was 1.9 in Tamil Nadu and 2.0 in Karnataka, much lower than the 2.7 in Jharkhand and 2.4 in Rajasthan

  • The answer for why fertility levels drastically vary among Muslim women across different regions lies in how developed a State is not just economically but also socially.

Concerns

  • A major concern is also lack of awareness about family planning

  • In 2019-21, close to 25% of Hindu women said they had never heard or seen a message about family planning via radio, TV, newspapers, wall paintings or the Internet

  • Among Muslim women, the share was higher at 30%

  • Even among women who were aware and wanted to limit the number of children they planned to have, or wanted more space between children, a significant share was unable to do so due to lack of access to family planning measures.

  • In most States, the unmet demand (refers to the share of women who want to limit or space out children, but are unable to do so) among Muslim women was higher than Hindu women

  • In States such as Haryana, Bihar, and Jharkhand where the fertility rate of Muslim women was high, the unmet demand was also high. 

  • In these States, the gap between the unmet demand between Muslim and Hindu women was much wider too.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Fertility rates in India UPSC NOTE
Fertility rates in India UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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