Fertility Rate Seems To Take a Dip Due To Education
The fertility rate seems to be influenced by the education factor as is seen from the religion-wise bifurcation available in National Family Health Survey, 2015–2016. The Jain community marked by highest education levels registered lowest fertility rate of 1.2, followed by Sikhs registering 1.6, Neo Buddhists with 1.7 and Christians with 2. With the exception of Muslims and Hindus, the fertility rate has dipped below replacement levels for other religious communities.
The fertility rate fell to 2.1 from the earlier 2.8 for Hindu households, a level at which replacement will happen over generations without need for migration. The fertility rate stood at 2.6 from 3.4 for Muslim households.
Under the classification based on differing wealth quintiles, the fertility rate stood at a high3.2 for the lowest income group while it was the least for richest section standing at 1.5. The poorest women recorded a lower average age at first birth, which was 20.3, which gradually increased to 24.4 years for women belonging to richest one-fifth of population. Among women in highest wealth quintile, 89% got sterilized after two kids while 77% of poorest women opted for sterilization after two kids.
The least developed among social groups, namely the Scheduled tribes registered a fertility rate of 2.5, next came the scheduled castes with fertility rate of 2.3 and other backward classes registered 2.2. The fertility rate for the upper castes stood at a lowly 1.9.
Under the age-wise classification, the fertility rate for the age group 40–49 years was the highest for Muslims standing at 4.2, for Hindus it was 3.1 and a lowly 2.2 for Jain women. Under the 25–49 years category, Muslim women recorded the lowest average age at their first birth, which was 21.3 years while it was 21.6 years for Hindu women of the same age group. The same figure stood at a high 23.8 years for Sikh women.
30% of women got sterilized after one child while 84% or so got sterilized after two kids. The overall TFR for the country was 2.2.