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India’s fertility rate is now below replacement levels: Kerala, TN marginally reverse fall

The Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir has a low TFR at 1.4. Among the states, Sikkim has the lowest TFR at 1.1. Sikkim's TFR is now the same as South Korea, the country that has the lowest fertility rate in the world.

India’s fertility rate has for the first time fallen below replacement levels, as per data released by the National Family Health Survey-5 on Wednesday, 24 November. The data pertains to 2019-21.

As per a report in the Times of India, the Total Fertility Rate, which is the average number of children born to a woman during her lifetime, is now 2, which is below replacement levels. For India, the replacement level, where the population theoretically remains the same in the next generation, is 2.1.

The key findings of the survey were released by Dr VK Paul from NITI Aayog and Rajesh Bhushan, secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Further, the TFR is 2.1 in rural areas and 1.6 in urban areas. It is notable here that the replacement fertility rate varies country wise, depending upon factors like mortality rate and child mortality rate. In poor and developing nations, where child mortality rates are high, the TFR for replacement levels is slightly higher.

Only 3 states, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand now have a TFR that is above replacement levels, at 3, 2.4 and 2.3 respectively. From the previous assessment, states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, UP and Bihar have shown a significant decline in the TFR levels, causing the dip.

Kerala and TN are the only states where TFR went up

As per the NFHS-5 survey, Kerala and Tamilnadu are the only states where fertility rates went up since the last assessment. In NFHS-4, Kerala and Punjab had the lowest fertility rates at 1.6, while TN had 1.7

In the NFHS-5, Kerala is still the state with one of the lowest fertility rates, though it has slightly increased from its own levels. It now has a TFR of 1.8, the same as Tamil Nadu.

The Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir has a very low TFR at 1.4. Among the states, Sikkim has the lowest TFR at 1.1. Sikkim’s TFR is now the same as South Korea, the country that has the lowest fertility rate in the world.

In general, Asia’s TFR is just 2.15, barely above the replacement levels. Among Asian nations, Nepal has TFR at 1.9 while Bangladesh’ is the same as India at 2.

In the world, Africa and Oceania have the highest TFR, at 4.4 and 2.9 respectively. In Africa, Niger has the highest TFR of 6.9 while Somalia has a TFR of 6.1. Apart from Africa and Oceania, all other geographic regions in the world have achieved TFR of replacement level or less.

As per United Nations, India’s population had peaked in the 1980s and the population growth has been declining ever since.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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