India's population growth declines as world reaches 8 bn

Wednesday 23rd November 2022 05:11 EST

India, formerly a significant contributor to the growth of the world's population as it approaches 8 billion, is now seeing a noticeable slowdown. The South Asian nation's declining fertility rates have compelled at least one state to rethink laws encouraging families to have more than two children.

On November 15, the United Nations estimated that there were 8 billion people on the planet, with China and India making up more than a third of that number. India estimates its population at 1.38 billion, slightly lower than the 1.4 billion that the World Bank estimates for China.

According to the United Nations, India will surpass China as the most populous nation in 2023. However, according to government statistics, India's population has grown by 1.2% annually on average since 2011 as opposed to 1.7% over the previous 10 years. Further slowing can be expected.

According to a government report released this month, India's total fertility rate (TFR), or the number of children per woman, dropped from 3.4 in 1992–1993 to 2 in the most recent assessment period, for 2019–2021. According to its calculations, the average must be 2.1 in order for the population to self-reproduce.

According to the government, declining fertility rates may have been influenced by rising contraceptive use and increased educational attainment among girls.

The use of family-planning methods jumped to 66.7% in 2019-21 from 53.5% in 2015-16.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) indicated that India's national population policies and health systems were working. "As India invests in its younger people, it needs to make plans for a demographic transition to take better care of a greater proportion of older people in the future," the UNFPA said.

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