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Impact of Population Growth 

India's population growth rate has been declining over the years but the overall population will continue to grow as 51% of the population is in the reproductive age group (15-49). Millions more will join this cohort each year. Every year, 26 million babies are born. Only 53% of the eligible couples are using contraceptives. At current levels, it may take several decades more to stabilise the population.

In India the levels of maternal and infant mortality are very high. Repeated childbirths are seen as an insurance against multiple infant and child deaths. Vast numbers of people cannot avail of services even when they are available, due to problems of knowledge and access.

India Challenges before us
  • India is the second most populous country  in the world, sustaining 16.7 per cent of the world's population.

  • The population of Indian states can be compared to the population of many countries

Population Stabilisation
  • Stabilising population is an essential requirement for promoting sustainable development.

  • Making reproductive health care accessible is the foundation for stabilising population

Some Facts
  • 50 % of India's population is in the reproductive age-group.

  • 161 million more people will be added by 2016

  • about 42 percent of population increase is contributed by births beyond two children per family.

  Population of india's states compared to population of countries
(Source: Census of india 2001, SOWC 20045)

India accounts for 2.4% of the world's surface area yet it supports 16.7% of the world's population. As the population grows, the pressure on natural resources will intensify. Population pressure will reduce the per capita availability of land for farming, which will affect availability of food grain, drinking water, besides excluding millions of people from the benefits of health and education and the opportunity to become productive members of society. More than half a billion Indians are less than 25 years of age.

In the states where the growth rates are high, maternal mortality and infant mortality is also very high. Repeated child births aggravate the health and survival risks to both mother and child. According to the International Institute for Population Sciences, 2006 in a study prepared for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and National Commission on Population, early pregnancies before the age of 20 increase maternal and child birth risks. The societal pressure for early child bearing and lack of spacing thereafter affects the mother's health and can lead to death of the infant or the birth of an underweight child. This sets in motion a vicious cycle of births, deaths and ill-health. It affects overall development. It is vitally necessary to make family planning services available where men and women can access them freely. IIPS's study indicates that in many states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and some North Eastern States several districts have a low couple protection rate of 40%. This is in contrast to the rest of the country where the couple protection rates are 52 to 62%. Unless young people adopt family planning methods and space families, population growth will pull back the development of the country.


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