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Fertility rate below replacement level for all religions, but not for Hindus & Muslims

New Delhi: According to the latest religion-wise data from National Family Health Survey (NFHS) of 2015-16, the fertility rate of Muslims is highest.

Also, the total fertility rate (TFR), has dropped below replacement level for all religious communities except for Hindus and Muslims, TOI quotes.

“Replacement level fertility” is the total fertility rate—the average number of children born per woman—at which a population replaces itself from one generation to the next, without migration. This rate is around 2.1 children per woman in most of the countries.

If we observe TFR on global basis till 2010, it has shown a descending trend.


A comparison of the United States and Canada gives a TFR graph like this.

The fertility rate of Hindu households had fallen from 2.8 to 2.1 in 2004-05. Whereas, for Muslim households, it fell from 3.4 to 2.6 as per NFHS survey.

The Jains community was found to be at the lowest fertility rate, 1.2. Followed by Sikhs (1.6), Buddhists or Neo Buddhists (1.7) and Christians (2). India’s overall TFR was found to be 2.2, a slightly above 2.1.

By looking at wealth wise data, the sections with the lowest income had the highest number of children at 3.2 and the richest had the least, 1.5. It was also revealed that for younger women, the average number of children born to them was also less.

The TFR for Muslim women in the age group of 40-49 was highest at 4.2 and it was lowest for Jain women at 2.2. Hindu women of the same age group had second highest TFR of 3.1.

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