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India fertility rate drops to 2% on rising use of contraceptives, survey shows

India fertility rate drops to 2% on rising use of contraceptives, survey shows

India reported a dip in its total fertility rate in 2019-21 versus 2015-16 due to the increased use of contraceptives.

TFR among urban women was much lower 1.6 per cent than 2.1 per cent in rural women in 2019-21 TFR among urban women was much lower 1.6 per cent than 2.1 per cent in rural women in 2019-21

India reported a dip in its total fertility rate in 2019-21 versus 2015-16 due to the increased use of contraceptives. Total fertility rate or TFR went down to 2 per cent in 2019-21 from 2.2 per cent in 2015-16. TFR among urban women was much lower 1.6 per cent than 2.1 per cent in rural women in 2019-21. Number of women between ages 15-19 who got married and/or are pregnant went down by 6.8 per cent in 2019-21 as per the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5) data.

Fertility rates among men aged 25-29 years of age and married before the age of 21 went down from 20.3 percent in 2015-16 to 17.7 per cent in 2019-21. Adolescent fertility rate for women between 15-19 years of age also dropped 8 per cent from 51 per cent in 2015-16 to 43 per cent in 2019-21.  Adolescent fertility rate for urban women between 15-19 years stood at 27 per cent whereas it peaked 49 percent for rural women.

Illustrations: Pragati Srivastava

Contraceptives usage has also gone up exponentially in 2019-21 when compared to 2015-16 and efforts have also been made to spread more awareness about family planning. The total unmet need for contraceptives went down by 3.5 per cent from 12.9 per cent in 2015-16 to 9.4 per cent in 2019-21, as per the survey.

Most preferred methods for contraception include any method (66.7 per cent in 2019-21 versus 53.5 per cent in 2015-16), modern methods available (56.5 per cent in 2019-21 versus 47.8 per cent in 2015-16), female sterileation (37.9 per cent in 2019-21 versus 36 per cent in 2015-16), male sterilisation (0.3 per cent in 2019-21 as well as 2015-16), IUD/PPIUD  (2.1 percent in 2019-21 versus 1.5 per cent in 2015-16), pill (5.1 per cent in 2019-21 versus 4.1 per cent in 2015-16), condoms (9.5 per cent in 2019-21 versus 5.6 per cent in 2015-16) and injectables (0.6 per cent in 2019-21 versus 0.2 per cent).

Family planning awareness is usually spread through health workers talking to females about family planning and current contraceptive users talking about the side effects of the current methods.

Illustration: Pragati Srivastava

The report also highlighted an upside when it came to complete immunisation of kids between 12-23 months of age. It said that 76.4 per cent of the mothers surveyed had complete information on their children’s immunisation based on the vaccination card or memory in 2019-21 compared to 62 per cent in 2015-16.

Out of those surveyed, children between 12-23 months of age who had received BCG vaccine stood at 95.2 per cent, those who got 3 doses of the polio vaccine stood at 80.5 per cent in 2019-21. Children who got vaccinated against diseases like DPT, rotavirus and hepatitis B in 2019-21 stood at 86.7 per cent, 36.4 per cent and 83.9 per cent, respectively. Those who were inoculated with the first and second doses of MCV at the time of the survey stood at 87.9 per cent and 31.9 per cent respectively.

DATA COLLECTION PROCESS

The data for NFHS-5 has been collated under the stewardship of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India and International Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai. “The total sample size of approximately 610,000 households for India was based on the size needed to produce reliable indicator estimates for each district. The rural sample was selected through a two-stage sample design with villages as the Primary Sampling Units (PSUs) at the first stage (selected with probability proportional to size), followed by a random selection of 22 households in each PSU at the second stage. ”

In urban areas, a two-stage sample design comprised Census Enumeration Blocks (CEB) selected at the first stage and a random selection of 22 households in each CEB in the second stage. During the second stage, in both urban and rural areas, households were selected after conducting a complete mapping and household listing operation in the selected first-stage units.

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