Open In App

Consequences of Declining Fertility

Last Updated : 02 Jan, 2023
Like Article

The average number of children born to each woman in a given region over the course of her lifetime is known as the total fertility rate. Anything above four is considered to have a very high total fertility rate, and anything below two is considered to have a very low total fertility rate. It is calculated by adding the age-specific rates for one year at a given time. The replacement fertility rate, which is the total fertility rate in which women would only have enough children to replace themselves and their partners, may be more pertinent to the current discussion.

The number of people on earth has been growing continuously. Reports estimates put it at 8.5 billion by 2030; yet, the average number of children born to each woman of childbearing age has decreased by 50%. According to the World Population Prospects 2022, there will be 2.4 children per woman in 2020 as opposed to an average of five in 1951. Between 1990 and 2021, the world’s fertility rate decreased from three to 2.3. According to the NFHS 2021, only five States—Bihar, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Manipur—have fertility rates that are higher than the replacement rate.

Causes of the Population’s Shifting Trend:

  • Rates of Immunization: The rate of vaccination has also increased since NFHS-4. Along with the rates of partial vaccination, the percentage of children between the ages of 12 and 23 months who are fully immunized has increased from 62% to 76%.
  • Females have a Higher Degree of Education: An increase in the average age of marriage for women, increased use of contraception, more years of average education, and improved healthcare.
  • Nutritional Condition: The percentage of kids that are stunted (low height for age), wasted (low weight for height), and underweight (low weight for age) has decreased, according to the NFHS-5 statistics. 
  • Infant Mortality is Decreasing: Since the previous round, infant and child mortality rates have decreased. The mortality rate for children under 5 fell by the most, from 49.7 to 41.9 fatalities per 1,000 live births.
  • Better access to family planning tools and a high prevalence of contraception.
  • This is the outcome of the demographic transition social phenomena moving more quickly. The term “demographic transition” refers to the historical change from high birth and death rates in cultures with little technology, education (especially for women), or economic growth to low birth and death rates in society with these characteristics, as well as the stages in between.
  • The demographic transition ladder appears to be climbing far more quickly in poorer countries than in wealthy ones.
  • Poorer nations appear to be moving up the transitional ladder much more quickly than affluent nations.
  • Decreasing rate of newborn mortality.
  • Higher mobility.
  • Financial self-reliance.

Positive Consequences of Declining Fertility:

  • Stabilization of the Population:  As the World Population Prospect 2022 notes, a fall in fertility rates suggests a slower rate of population expansion right now. In the future, women’s empowerment will continue to erode.
  • Enlistment of Women: Reduced fertility will enable women to participate in various forms of employment, which will increase their economic, social, and political clout.
  • Greater Emphasis on Human Development: The life expectancy and productivity of citizens are improved by better nutrition and more advanced medical care. Population decline will force countries to concentrate on improving the population’s health, education, and skill levels in order to raise standards for human development. People’s living standards will rise as a result of this.
  • Less Environmental Impact: Since less land will be needed for food production, there will be less environmental impact. As a result, other environmental issues will be lessened and the forest will be saved. By using less resources, such as land and water, it will be easier to achieve environmental objectives.
  • Development that is Sustainable: Less people would put less strain on the planet’s resources. This will facilitate the realization of sustainable development.
  • Lowering of Poverty: Population fall will lead to a reduction in poverty, especially in South Asia and the Sub-Saharan region, as large population is one of the causes of poverty.
  • Demographic Dividend: Given the increased level of saving due to less reliance, this high percentage of the population working increases income and investment. The declining fertility rate will also result in less demand for land, water, and other resources, which will help us achieve our environmental goals.

Negative Consequences of Declining Fertility:

  • Low Population Growth: The positive benefits of more outstanding education and female empowerment would cause women’s fertility to continue to fall, which would lead to a lower population for a country.
  • Burden on the People of Working Age: The share of the elderly would rise. If the fertility rate dropped below the replacement level, the percentage of the working population would deteriorate, which would affect the output of the economy.
  • A significant segment of the working-age population matures and is supported by fewer workers when the demographic dividend window closes.
  • Japan was the first country to experience the effects of dropping birth rates. The nation is currently experiencing financial difficulties as a result of increased social security bills.
  • Population decline will also reduce the number of people who are of military age, reducing military power.
  • Since younger employees and entrepreneurs are more likely to initiate change, a declining population also slows the rate of innovation.

Government Initiatives:

  • Prime Minister’s Appeal: The Prime Minister urged the nation to embrace population control as a sign of patriotism in his Independence Day speech in 2019. Future generations will face numerous issues as a result of population expansion. However, there is a watchful segment of the population that pauses to consider if they can treat a child fairly and fulfill all of her or his needs before bringing a child into the world. They are a little family that shows their loyalty to the nation. 
  • Parivar Vikas Mission: In order to significantly increase access to contraceptives and family planning services in 146 high fertility districts with TFR of 3 and above in seven high-focus states, the government launched Mission Parivar Vikas in 2017. This initiative’s primary strategic focus will be on increasing access to contraceptives by providing ensured services. Educating them about the importance of stopping family growth, it will improve the lives of the poor with large families.
  • NFPIS, the National Family Planning Indemnity Scheme: In 1952, India became the first nation to introduce a national family planning program. It places a strong emphasis on controlling fertility in order to lower birth rates to the degree required to stabilize the population at a level compatible with socioeconomic development and environmental protection. India’s demographic and health profiles have progressively improved since that time.
  • Compensation Plan for Sterilization Acceptors: Under the plan, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare compensates the beneficiary as well as the service provider (and team) for wage losses incurred when sterilizations are performed starting in 2014.


Replacement of Fertility Level is the reproduction rate necessary to keep a population stable from one generation to the next, or the fertility rate at which a population precisely replaces itself.


India has always worked to reduce its population. In fact, India was the first nation to introduce a national family planning program, and the hopeful progress we are seeing now is a result of the Center and the state governments’ persistent, focused efforts. But India’s population is still not predicted to decline for another 30 to 40 years. It is because more than 30% of people are between the ages of 10 and 30 and are likely to have children over the next 20 years. India will need to monitor fertility decreases because the country’s working-age population will keep expanding for many more decades. India, like other nations throughout the world, would eventually need to be prepared to support the pattern of more small feet.

Like Article
Suggest improvement
Share your thoughts in the comments

Similar Reads