June 03, 2016

‘Demographic Dividend’ is Under Way with Collapse in Fertility

In this Economic Times article, Sanjeev Sanyal, Visitng Fellow at IDFC Institute, says that recent survey data suggest a big change in India’s demographic trajectory.

 

"According to recently released Sample Registration System data, the country’s total fertility rate (TFR) stood at 2.3 in 2013...In India, this is around 2.3 due to higher infant mortality and a skewed gender ratio. In other words, the country’s TFR is already at the ‘replacement rate’...There continue to be wide variations in the fertility rates across the country. Readings for the southern states have been low for some time, but are now dropping sharply in many northern states...

So, for another 25-plus years, falling death rates will compensate for falling birth rates...The trends in fertility have important implications for policy...

The fall in Indian fertility is not unique. It is in line with what every other country has experienced at a certain economic stage. Developed countries have been below replacement rates for decades now. But fertility is now plunging across emerging markets...The United Nations predicts that world population will rise from the current 7.3 billion to 11.2 billion by the end of the century. However, fertility trends suggest that it will peak at a much lower level (perhaps closer to 9 billion) before declining. One could argue that this would be a good thing. But a shrinking, ageing population will bring its own challenges."

 

Read the full article here.

Topic : Transitions / In : OP-EDS
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