Explained: What fertility rate data show

  1. During his Independence Day speech,Prime Minister has underlined challenges posed by population growth in the country.
  2. According to the data,the Total fertility rate(TFR) has dropped to 2.2. This is only marginally higher than the fertility rate (2.1) required for replacement of the existing population.
  3. Total fertility rate(TFR) is defined as the number of children born to a woman until the end of her child-bearing age.It is a key indicator for population trends.
  4. Even the states that have a higher TFR such as Uttar Pradesh(3.0), Bihar (3.2), MP(2.7), Rajasthan(2.6), Assam(2.3), Chhattisgarh(2.4) and Jharkhand(2.5) have been witnessing a declining trend in fertility rates. These seven states account for about 45 % of the total population in the 2011 Census.
  5. Further,two more states namely Gujarat and Haryana has recorded a TFR of 2.2 which is above the replacement rate but is equal to the national average.Taken together,these nine major states account for 52 % of the 2011 population.
  6. This means that barring these nine states which accounts for almost half the population,the replacement level is either 2.1 or has gone below it.
  7. The states with a lower TFR include states such as Kerala (1.7), Tamil Nadu (1.6), Karnataka (1.7), Maharashtra (1.7), Andhra Pradesh (1.6), Telangana (1.7), West Bengal (1.6), Jammu and Kashmir (1.6) and Odisha (1.9).