13 states and 2 UTs reach population replacement rate

Fertility rates in 13 states and two union territories (UTs), including Delhi, have reached the levels needed to sustain the population, according to the latest figures.

According to the Sample Registration System (SRS) 2019, released by the Registrar General of India this month, all 13 states and two UTs achieved the total replacement fertility rate (TRR) of 2.1 and less. The replacement TFR (2.1 births per woman) is an indicator where a population replaces itself exactly from one generation to the next, without migration.

According to the SRS, India’s national TFR fell to 2.1 in 2019 after being flat at 2.2 in 2017 and 2018.

Among the 28 states and eight UTs, TFR at replacement level was reported by Andhra Pradesh (1.5), Delhi (1.5), J&K (1.5), Punjab (1.5 ), TN (1.5), West Bengal (1.5), Himachal Pradesh (1.6), Kerala (1.6), Maharashtra (1.6), Telangana (1.6), Karnataka (1.7), Odisha (1.8) Uttarakhand (1.9), Gujarat (2.1) and Haryana (2.1).

SRS is the largest demographic survey mandated to provide annual fertility estimates as well as state and national level mortality indicators. According to the SRS 2019, urban India had a TFR of 1.7 while rural India had a TFR of 2.3.

According to a United Nations World Population Policy, 2021, India is at TFR replacement level (2.1) where a population exactly replaces each other from one generation to the next. The UN report further notes: “The Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting economic and social changes have affected fertility levels in many countries, but this impact may be short-lived. Fertility fluctuations from 2021 to 2023 are expected to be relatively minor and fertility may return to pre-pandemic levels around 2025.”

The SRS survey said: “Bihar reported the highest TFR (3.1), while Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, J&K, Punjab, TN and West Bengal reported the Lowest ISF (1.5).Similarly, the infant mortality rate (IMR) also recorded a drop of 2 points to 30 in 2019 against 32 in 2018 at the national level, according to the SRS 2019.