PMF IAS Test Series for UPSC Prelims Banner Ad
PMF IAS Test Series for UPSC Prelims Banner Ad
  • Context (IE): According to the Lancet study, India’s total fertility rate (TFR), the average number of children born per woman, is dipping irreversibly to 1.29, far lower than the replacement rate of 2.1. 
  • The study was based on the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2021, a research effort led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at University of Washington.
  • During the period from 1950 to 2021, global TFR more than halved, from around five children for each woman in 1950 to 2.2 children in 2021.
  • Future fertility rates were projected to continue to decline worldwide, reaching a global TFR of 1·83 in 2050 and 1·59 in 2100.

Global fertility rate - PMF IAS

  • The two nations projected to have the lowest predicted fertility rates in 2050 are Puerto Rico (0.84) and South Korea (0.82).
  • The distribution of live births worldwide is shifting, with a greater proportion occurring in the lowest-income countries.
  • In 1950, one-third of the global live births occurred in Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Oceania.
  • However, this concentration has shifted to the sub-Saharan African region, which, after 2011, accounted for the largest share of live births — increasing from 8 percent in 1950 to nearly 30 percent by 2021.
  • Change in the distribution of live births will result in a “demographically divided world” where high-income nations will have to deal with the effects of an ageing population and a shrinking workforce, while low-income areas will struggle with high birth rates and resource constraints.
  • The proportion of live births in low-income areas worldwide will almost quadruple from 18% in 2021 to 35% in 2100.
  • By 2100, one out of every two children born will be born in sub-Saharan Africa alone.
  • The GBD report says that by 2050, fertility rates in three-quarters of all countries will not be high enough to support population growth.
  • In India, the TFR was 6.18 in 1950, which reduced to 4.60 in 1980 and further declined to 1.91 in 2021.
  • China is already dealing with the demographic disadvantage of an ageing population. India, too, is heading in that direction. These two nations together account for more than a third of the world’s population.

Reasons for declining fertility rate

Decline in Infant mortality

  • Various maternal and child health-related programmes, like the Family Welfare Programme, including maternal and child health-related cash transfer inducements and successful immunisation in India, guaranteed child survival, giving rise to small families.

Economic dimension

  • With development, the inter-generational flow of wealth has reversed. “This means parents now do not receive as much benefit from their children as they used to.
  • This has influenced the decision to have an additional child, which would involve a substantial cost of raising them.

Women empowerment

  • The rise of female literacy and women’s participation in the workforce. Career consciousness, financial returns, and economic independence have meant that women are reconsidering their options for having a second child.
  • In the urban space, many women do not consider child-rearing as a must-do task; they are instead choosing not to have babies at all and even considering options like adoption. This pattern is percolating in rural India, too.

Long-term consequences of declining fertility rates

  • Low levels of fertility have the potential over time to result in inverted population pyramids with growing numbers of older people and declining working-age populations.
  • Sustained low fertility rates might likewise lead to labour shortages in some sectors, potentially hindering economic growth.
  • Reliance on immigrants will become increasingly necessary to sustain economic growth in low-fertility countries.
  • Continued skilled worker migration to high-income, low-fertility economies—a concept referred to as brain drain—can also have devastating effects on the economies these workers leave behind.
  • Increase the burden on health care and social systems, transform labour and consumer markets, and alter patterns of resource use.

Total Fertility Rate

  • The total fertility rate (TFR) is the average number of children a woman would have at the end of her reproductive years, expressed as births per woman.

How is the Total Fertility Rate calculated?

  • TFR is directly calculated as the sum of age-specific fertility rates (usually referring to women aged 15 to 49), or five times the sum if data are given in five-year age groups.
  • An age- or age-group-specific fertility rate is calculated as the ratio of annual births to women at a given age or age group to the population of women at the same age or age group in the same year for a given country, territory, or geographic area.

What does a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 2.0 mean?

  • A total fertility rate (TFR) of 2.0 is the replacement rate, which means that a population can replace itself from one generation to the next without external migration.

What is the Replacement Fertility Rate?

  • Replacement level fertility is the total fertility rate—the average number of children born per woman—at which a population exactly replaces itself from one generation to the next, without migration.
  • This rate is roughly 2.1 children per woman for most countries, although it may modestly vary with mortality rates.
Sharing is Caring !!

Newsletter Updates

Subscribe to our newsletter and never miss an important update!

Assured Discounts on our New Products!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Never miss an important update!