World Population Day


With 1.15 billion people, India is currently the world’s second largest country, China being the first.  Demographers expect India’s population to surpass China by 2030, at 1.53 billion, when China’s population will begin to fall after a peak of 1.46 billion. At the time of India’s Independence the country’s population was a mere 350 million. Since 1947, the population of India has more than tripled. In 1950, India’s total fertility rate was approximately 6 (children per woman). Since 1952, India had a population control policy in place. In 1983, the goal of the country’s National Health Policy was to have a total fertility rate of 2.1 by the year 2000. That target was not achieved. In 2000, the country established a new National Population Policy with the primary goal of reducing the total fertility rate to 2.1 by 2010. One of the steps toward the goal in 2010 was a total fertility rate of 2.6 by 2002. However, India’s total fertility rate still remains at 2.72 (NFHS 3, 2008), and the goal remains unachieved. It is highly unlikely that the total fertility rate will be 2.1 by 2010. Thus, India’s population will continue to grow at a rapid rate. Despite impressive goals to reduce its population growth rates, India still has a long way to go to achieve meaningful population control with a growth rate of 1.6 per cent, representing a doubling time of under 44 years.

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