India’s fertility rate recorded under 2 in 2021, down from 6.2 in 1950: Report


India’s fertility rate, which stood at almost 6.2 in 1950, has plummeted to less than 2 in 2021, claims a global study published in The Lancet journal.

The research report states that the fertility rate may drop further to 1.29 in 2050 and to 1.04 by year 2100.

The latest fertility numbers correspond to worldwide trends which suggested that the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) was more than 4.5 per woman on average in 1950, which went down to 2.2 in 2021. The number has been projected to go down to 1.8 and 1.6 in 2050 and 2100, respectively.


According to Population Foundation of India chief Poonam Muttreja, the latest figures have “profound implications” and ramifications for India, clubbed with challenges such as an ageing population, and labour force shortages, and potential social imbalances due to gender preferences, among others.

However, a Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2021 Fertility and Forecasting Collaborators study hints at apprehensions that many low-income nations will still be maintaining high fertility rates during the current century.

With the ever-worsening climate change scenario, many of ‘these low-income countries’ are slated to also endure frequent natural calamities like floods, droughts, hot weather which are expected to result in food, water and resource scarcity, the report said.

To combat these potential threats to public health, Poonam Muttreja said that economic ‘policies stimulating growth and job creation’, alongside social security and pension reforms, will also be essential in adapting to and mitigating the impacts of declining fertility rates.


The Lancet research had it that there were 12.9 crore livebirths globally in 2021, which stood at 9.3 crore in 1950, but was less than a high of 14.2 crore in 2016.

Meanwhile, India’s livebirth numbers were recorded at 1.6 crore in 1950 and 2.2 crore in 2021, which are further projected to slump to just 1.3 crore in 2050.

With PTI inputs

Published On:

Mar 22, 2024


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