Fertility Pattern in India

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Fertility Continues to Decrease but Still Too High in Some States India’s population continues to grow faster than necessary to replace itself. In its National Population Policy, 2000, the Government of India set a goal of achieving replacement level fertility of 2.1 children per woman nationally by the year 2010. With only a few years left to go, this goal is still unrealized. NFHS-3 has determined that at current fertility rates, India’s women will have an average of 2.7 children per woman, slightly lower than 2.9 children per woman measured in 1998-99 by NFHS2, but still well above the replacement level. Fertility Urban women have already achieved replacement level fertility, having a total fertility rate (TFR) of 2.1, but the TFR among rural women (3.0) is still too high. If all women in India had only the number of children they say they want, replacement level fertility would be achieved. Ten states are already at or below the replacement level of fertility and several other states are close to achieving that level. The total fertility rate is much higher (3 or more children per woman) in 8 states, and is particularly high (3.7-4.0) in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Nagaland. Marriage The percentage of women who get married before the legal minimum age at marriage of 18 years has been dropping over time, but even now 46% of younger women age 18-29 get married before reaching their 18th birthday. More than half of women age 18-29 marry before reaching the legal minimum age at marriage in Bihar (64%), Jharkhand (60%), Rajasthan (58%), Andhra Pradesh (56%), West Bengal (53%), Madhya Pradesh (53%), Uttar Pradesh (52%), and Chhattisgarh (51%). Men get married about six years later than women, but 27% of men age 21-29 got married before the legal minimum age of 21 years for men. Knowledge of Contraceptive Methods To facilitate the informed choice of family planning methods, it is desirable that people are aware of a wide variety of contraceptive methods....
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