Children play at a waterlogged street near a residential area after heavy monsoon rainfall in Chennai, India, on Nov. 12.
By Gerry Shih
India’s population growth is losing steam as the average number of children born crossed below a key threshold, according to newly released data from a government survey.
India’s most recent National Family Health Survey, which is conducted every five years by the Health Ministry, was released Wednesday and showed the total fertility rate (TFR) across India dropping to 2.0 in 2019-2021, compared with 2.2 in 2015-2016. A country with a TFR of 2.1, known as the replacement rate, would maintain a stable population over time; a lower TFR means the population would decrease in the absence of other factors, such as immigration.
The figures were hailed as a heartening signal by government officials and researchers in a country that is expected to overtake China to become the world’s most populous sometime this decade. Since the mid-20th century, Indian leaders have tried to curb high birthrates, which are often reversely correlated with women’s welfare metrics and economic progress. A burgeoning population is seen, in the longer term, as a hurdle to development and a driver of environmental degradation and greenhouse gas emissions.Continue reading… “India says nationwide birthrates drop below key ‘replacement rate’”