Efficacy of India’s population control model – UPSC GS1

Context: The National Family Health Survey 5 reports that India Total Fertility Rate has dropped to 2 below the replacement level of 2.1
NFHS-5 Findings:
  • According to NFHS 5, India’s Total Fertility Rate or the average number of children per woman has dropped to 2 below the replacement level (2.1 estimated by WHO).
  • NFHS 5 showed an increase in the proportion of women using modern contraceptive methods from 47.8% in 2015-16 to 56.5% in 2019-21, a decrease in the unmet need for family planning and improvement in family planning services.
  • The states with the highest TFR like Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh also have the lowest proportion of literate women and women who have completed 10 years of schooling. They are also the states ranked lowest in the NITI Aayog’s latest multi-dimensional poverty index.
  • This is a clear indication of the importance of underlying characteristics such as level of women’s education, their average marital age, access to contraceptive services etc on population control measures.
China’s model vs India’s model:
  • China and India, both had a TFR of 6 in the 1950s, but China reached below-replacement fertility levels by 1990 through a one-child policy. This has resulted in disastrous demographic consequences such as a rapidly ageing population, a skewed gender ratio as people aborted or abandoned female babies, and a shrinking labour force with too few young people to support the elderly.
  • However, like India, countries such as Bangladesh, Brazil, Turkey, and Malaysia, which started off with TFRs of 6 or more achieved replacement level fertility without such coercive policies.
Scroll to Top