India’s Population Declining; In a First, Country has More Women than Men

Published: November 25,2021 08:48 PM

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India's population rate has started to decline

November 25, 2021: As per the latest findings of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) released by the Union Health Ministry on November 24, India's population rate has started to decline. As per the survey, the average number of children per woman or the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) has declined to 2 from 2.2 (last reported in 2015-16).

The United Nations' population division explains that countries experiencing replacement fertility below 2.1 children per woman indicates that a generation is not producing enough children to replace itself, which will eventually lead to reduction in population.

The replacement fertility level is usually fixed at 2.1, since it is the average number of children per woman that is needed to keep a balance between the number of births and deaths in a country to maintain the population.

According to the survey, only five states have the Total Fertility Rate above 2 - Bihar (3), Meghalaya (2.9), Uttar Pradesh (2.4), Jharkhand (2.3) and Manipur (2.2).

TFR of Assam, Gujarat, Haryana, Mizoram and Uttarakhand is 1.9.

Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Telangana have a TFR of 1.8.

Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Nagaland and Tripura have a TFR of 1.7.

Two states have a TFR of 1.6 - Maharashtra and West Bengal.

Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have TFR of 2.

Sikkim has the country’s lowest TFR at just 1.1 while Ladakh has seen one of the most dramatic declines in TFR in the last five years. In 2015-16, the TFR there was 2.3 but it has fallen to 1.3 now. Goa and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands too have a TFR of 1.3.

In other findings, the Survey said the number of women operating bank accounts has gone up from 53 per cent to 79 per cent.

India now has more women than men for the first time. According to NFHS-3 (conducted in 2005-06), the ratio was equal, 1000: 1000; it went down to 991:1000 in 2015-16 in NFHS-4. For the first time, the NFHS-5 shows that the numbers are favouring women.

The current population of India is 1,398,902,101 (139 crore) and counting and this accounts for 17.7% of the total world population. The country ranks at number 2 after China in the list of countries ranked by population. If the numbers continue to increase then, India will be the most populous country in the world by the turn of the century.