New Delhi, Dec 31: When it comes to the future of India, this could be the most important number to have emerged from the shadows of Covid in 2021. For the first-ever time in history, the fertility rate in the country, which indicates how many children a woman will produce in her lifetime, has come down to 2, as per IANS-CVoter Issues That Dominated India 2021.
The replacement level, where the number of booths and deaths almost match each other in a year is 2.1. In effect, India has already entered a virtually irreversible stage whereby the population will stabilise in the coming decade and start declining thereafter.
This is a fitting data driven answer to the various conspiracy theories that talk about population explosion and demographic change. All countries in the world have gone through this process and India is no different. In fact, countries like Russia, Japan and China could witness large declines in population in the next many decades.
To be sure, the Hindi heartland states are still lagging behind their counterparts in this score with fertility rates persisting above 2.2. But even they have seen a steep decline and rising female literacy in these states should level the playing field in the years to come.