India’s Total Fertility Rate to decline below 2 by 2031-35: Union Health Minister

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India’s Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is expected to decline from 2.37 during 2011-2015 to 1.73 during 2031-35, said Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare.

This is a significant decline in TFR from 1951, when it was 6.0.

“The youth population in the age group of 15-24 years is projected to decline from 233 million in 2011 to 227 million in 2036. However, the proportion of the working age population is expected to increase from 61% in 2011 to 65% in 2036. India is adding 12 million people to the working age population each year,” he expressed his views in WION and Zee Media’s ‘Population versus Planet’ Conference.

He also shared insights from the recent National Family Health Survey 5 that bolsters India’s remarkable achievements in Family Planning. It shows 20 out of 22 States surveyed so far have shown an increase in modern contraceptive use and 21 showing a decline in unmet needs for contraception while 19 of them have shown a decline in fertility.

India is on the verge of achieving the replacement Total Fertility Rate with 28 out of 36 states & UTs having already achieved the replacement Total fertility rate of 2.1.

On the government’s commitment to women’s health, he said over 9 lakh ASHA workers in the country are the drivers of health and represent the empowered rural women.

India has made remarkable progress in the past by reducing teenage marriages from 47% to 26.8% and teenage fertility from 16% to 7%, he added.