India’s Total Fertility Rate Declines Under Replacement Level, Sex Ratio Improves

The overall Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) has increased substantially in almost all Phase 2 states/UTs, except Punjab

Mumbai: India’s Total Fertility Rate (TFR), the average number of children per woman, has further declined from 2.2 to 2 at the national level, as per a Health Ministry survey.

NITI Aayog’s Member, Health, Dr Vinod Kumar Paul, and Union Health and Family Welfare Secretary Rajesh Bhushan released the factsheets of key indicators on population, reproductive and child health, family welfare, nutrition and others for India and 14 States and UTs clubbed under Phase 2 of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) (2019-21).

The states/UTs which were surveyed in Phase 2 are Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The survey showed that Phase 2 states of Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Delhi, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Uttarakhand have achieved replacement level of fertility (2.1)

As per the survey, the overall Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) has increased substantially from 54% to 67% at the all-India levels and in almost all Phase 2 states/UTs, except Punjab. The use of modern methods of contraceptives has also increased in almost all states and UTs.

The survey has revealed that the unmet needs of family planning have witnessed a significant decline from 13% to 9% at the all-India level and in most of the Phase 2 states/UTs. The unmet need for spacing which remained a major issue in India in the past has come down to less than 10% in all the states except Jharkhand at 12%, and Arunachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh – both at 13%.

Underlining the full immunisation drive among children aged 12-23 months, the survey recorded a substantial improvement from 62% to 76% at the all-India level. The highest being in Odisha with 90%, as many as 11 out of 14 states/UTs have more than three-fourth of children aged 12-23 months with full immunisation.

On comparing the previous NFHS-4 and NFHS-5 data, the increase in full immunisation coverage is observed to be expeditious in many states and UTs. During the short span of 4 years, over 50% of Phase 2 states/UTs are sharing over 10 percentage points.

The NFHS-5 shows that there were 1,020 women for 1000 men in the country in 2019-2021, which is the best so far from 2005 to 2016. According to NFHS-3 conducted in 2005-06, the ratio was equal to 1000: 1000, later, it went down to 991:1000 in 2015-16 in NFHS-4.

“The improved sex ratio and sex ratio at birth is also a significant achievement; even though the real picture will emerge from the census, we can say for now looking at the results that our measures for women empowerment have steered us in the right direction,” a report in Hindustan Times quoted Vikas Sheel, additional secretary, Union ministry of health and family welfare and mission director, National Health Mission.

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