Total Fertility Rate in India declines overall, Muslims have the highest Fertility Rate while Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs have the lowest: Details

Vishwa Bhaarath
Women in rural regions have higher fertility than those in metropolitan areas.
Women in rural regions have higher fertility than those in metropolitan areas.

On average, as per the survey, women in rural regions have higher fertility than those in metropolitan areas.

According to the National Family Health Survey 5 (NFHS), the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) in India has fallen to 2.0 at the national level. This TFR is somewhat lower than the replacement fertility threshold of 2.1 children. As per the survey, on average, women in rural regions have higher fertility than those in metropolitan areas.

National Family Health Survey

The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) is a multi-round, large-scale survey that is undertaken in a representative sample of homes across India. The inaugural NFHS was held in 1992-93, and it included all states except Sikkim. Since then, similar surveys have been conducted at regular intervals across India.

The fifth National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) offers demographic, health, and nutritional data for India, each state/union territory (UT), and 707 districts as of 31st of March, 2017. All five NFHS surveys have been carried out under the supervision of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India.

The primary goal of the 2019-21 National Family Health Surveys is to provide essential data on health and family welfare, as well as data on emerging issues in these areas, such as fertility rates, infant and child mortality, maternal and child health, and other health and family welfare indicators by background.

The fertility rate in India

The total fertility rate is the average number of children a woman would have at the end of her reproductive years if she had children at current fertility rates for her age.

In India, as per the survey, the total fertility rate (TFR) is 2.0 children per woman, which is slightly lower than the replacement fertility rate of 2.1 children per woman.

In India, the TFR has steadily decreased over time. The TFR decreased from 3.4 to 2.0 in children between 1992-93 and 2019-21. In rural regions, the TFR has dropped from 3.7 children in 1992-93 to 2.1 children in 2019-21. Women in urban areas had fewer children, dropping from 2.7 children in 1992-93 to 1.6 children in 2019-21.
Fertility rate during all 5 surveys in all regions.
Fertility rate during all 5 surveys in all regions.
The number of children a woman bears is determined by a variety of factors, including the age at which she begins childbearing, the length of time between births, and her productivity.

Effect of Income on Fertility Rate

Women in the lowest income group have 1.0 more children on average than women in the highest wealth group. The women in the poorest group have 2.6 Children on average. Whereas, women who are from wealthy backgrounds have 1.6 children. This shows how wealth affects the fertility rate of a region.
Fertility by household wealth.
Fertility by household wealth.

Effect of religion on Fertility Rate

The TFR ranges from 1.4 children per woman for Buddhists/Neo-Buddhists to 2.36 children per woman for Muslims. This demonstrates that Muslims in India have the highest fertility rate of any religion, whereas Buddhists have the lowest rate of any religion.

Furthermore, teen pregnancy is more common among Muslim women aged 15 to 19 years (8%) than among other religious groups. When it comes to the desire for another kid, Muslims have the lowest percentage of women who do not want another child. 72% of Sikh and 71% of Hindu presently married women aged 15-49 prefer no additional children, compared to 64% of Muslim currently married women.

Effect of Schooling on Fertility Rate

The total desired fertility rate for women with no schooling is 2.2 children, whereas women with 12 or more years of schooling have just 1.6 children. The difference between actual and desired fertility rates is substantially greater among women with no education (0.6) than among women with 12 or more years of education (0.2).

Furthermore, when women’s education levels rise, the optimum family size decreases. Women with no schooling believe 2.5 children to be ideal, but women with 12 or more years of schooling consider 1.8 children to be perfect.

Effect of the region on Fertility Rate

The total fertility rate in Sikkim ranges from 1.1 children per woman to 3.0 children per woman in Bihar. When it comes to teen pregnancy, Tripura (22%), West Bengal (16%), Andhra Pradesh (13%), Assam (12%), Bihar (11%), and Jharkhand (10%) have higher rates than other states and union territories.

Except for Tripura, Sikkim, and Assam, the desire of women not to have any more children is relatively low in the northeast states.

Other major findings of the study show that institutional births improved from 79 percent to 89 percent in India, with 87 percent of births given in institutions in rural regions and 94 percent in urban areas.

According to the NFHS-5 statistics, more than three-fourths (77%) of children aged 12-23 months were completely immunized, compared to 62 per cent in the NFHS-4. Stunting among children under the age of five has decreased somewhat in the country during the previous four years, falling from 38 percent to 36 percent. In 2019-21, stunting is more common among children in rural regions (37%) than in urban areas (30%).

Source: The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) - Opindia

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