Along with its rich cultural heritage, India has also been known for its ever-increasing population. Although it is a very rare known fact to many, that Asia’s third-largest economy is ironically facing a severe decline in fertility rate. In our country, the lifestyle of the common man, especially the younger generation has changed to a great extent. And the same has shown side effects on the fertility of the couples. India’s fertility statistic has changed over the years.
In India, across communities (except Hindus and Muslims), the total fertility rate (TFR) has got affected and has fallen below the replacement rate. Replacement rate or also known as replenishment rate is that rate at which the population gets perfectly replaced or replenished from generation to generation. A TFR of about 2.2 is generally considered the replacement level
As per the latest data, India’s current TFR stands at 2.2. The TFR for India has drastically decreased from 4.97 during 1975-80 to 2.2 for the current period of 2015-20. As per the report projections, by 2025-30 it is expected to go down to 2.1 and a further decline to 1.86 during 2045-50 and 1.78 during the period of 2095-2100. The Jain community had the lowest TFR which was 1.2. It was found that wealth too had a negative correlation with TFR. The richest population stood at a TFR of 1.5 and the poorest one at 3.2, explaining the effect of lifestyle changes on fertility.
As per the doctors, issues like increasing urbanization, hormonal changes, pressures due to the job, pollution, and delayed age of parenthood are some of the possible reasons for the decline in TFR in India. Also, it has been found that the problem of declining TFR isn’t gender-specific. Both male and female partners are equally responsible for the inability to conceive a child. Unawareness about fertility issues is also something India should focus on, as it indirectly adds to the problem of low TFR.
India, as of now has not been concerned much as far as population goes in mind, as it is already having a huge number to deal with. But other countries who are facing similar low TFR have taken a stride towards innovative solutions.