India’s population is set tofall as its total fertility rate(TFR) or the average number of children born to a woman over her lifetime has dropped below replacement level for the first time and is now 2. This was revealed in the National Family Health Survey data for 2019-21, released on Wednesday for phase-2 states along with all-India data.
The replacement level TFR, at which a population exactly replaces itself from one generation to the next, is estimated to be 2.1. Among larger states, there are now just three states — Bihar (3.0), Uttar Pradesh (2.4) and Jharkhand (2.3) — with a TFR above replacement level.
From NFHS-3 in 2005-06, when India’s TFR was 2.7, it dropped to 2.2 by 2015-16. Between NFHS-3 and the latest NFHS-5 in 2019-21, some of the most populous states, such as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar in that order, showed significant decline in TFR, which has helped India’s overall rate fall below the replacement level.
89% of deliveries in health facilities
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