The Union Health Ministry, on Wednesday, November 24, released the data for Phase-2 of the National Family Health Survey (NHFS)-5. According to the data, India‘s Total Fertility Rate (TFR) (the average number of children a woman gives birth to in her lifetime) has declined from 2.2 to 2. The Phase-1 data was released in December 2020.
A TFR rate of 2.1 is termed as the replacement rate, and if the TFR falls below the replacement rate means there is neither an increase nor decrease in population.
The fourth edition of the survey conducted between 2015 and 2016 revealed that the TFR was 2.2, while the fifth survey conducted between 2019 and 2021 reflected gains made in population control. The fifth edition of the survey was conducted in two phases.
Member (health) of NITI Aayog, VK Paul said that the data from the survey would help the government achieve Universal Health Coverage.
Combining both the phases from the survey, four of India’s 36 states and union territories have a TFR higher than the national average.
One should note that NHFS is just a sample survey and not an enumeration like the National Census. On the other hand, Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) has also increased at the all-India level. The CPR has increased from 54% to 67%.
Meanwhile, the survey showed that the unmet needs of family planning have declined from 13% to 9%.