Birth rate trends in India: 1985-2003

Aalok Ranjan, 'SHYAM' Institute

Reduction in birth rate to achieve population stabilisation has been one of the cherished goal in India right since independence. However, despite all efforts, the decline in birth rate in the country and in many of its states has been less than expected. In this paper, we analyse transition in the birth rate in India during 1985-2003 using a decomposition methodology which separates the structure effects from the level effects in birth rate transition. Results indicate that after 1996, the decline in fertility of married women has either stagnated or even increased in the country and in its many states but the birth rate continued to decline because of changes in the age and sex structure of the population. The paper also discusses the implications of stagnation in marital fertility decline in India.

Presented in Session 36: Completing Fertility Transition in Asia