Muslims in Assam have seen the steepest drop in fertility since 2005-06: government data | India News

India
Muslims in Assam have seen the steepest drop in fertility since 2005-06: government data |  India News


Weather Assam Prime Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has called on the state’s ‘Muslim immigrant’ population to practice ‘decent practice of family planning’, the 2019-20 Fifth National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) released by the health minister of the Union in December shows that this community has experienced the steepest drop in fertility since 2005-06.

Muslims in Assam have seen the most dramatic decline in fertility since NFHS-3, which took place 14 years earlier. While the number of children to be born per woman, or the total fertility rate (TFR), of the Muslim community in Assam at 2.4 is higher than 1.6 for Hindus and 1.5 for Christians, the reduction in fertility between Muslims has been from 3.6 in 2005-06 to 2.4 in 2019-20, a drop of 1.3 compared to 0.4 among Hindus for the same period, albeit from a lower base.
The TFR of 2.4 among Muslims in Assam is only slightly above what demographers call replacement-level fertility, or the TFR level at which enough babies are born to keep population levels constant.
This is pegged at 2.1 and India’s overall TFR is 2.2. The NFHS-5 data also show that cultural and geographic factors, as well as level of development, are more important determinants of fertility than religion.
Therefore, in Bihar with poor development rates, the fertility rate of all communities, including Hindus (2.9), is higher than that of Muslims in Assam and most other states. On the other hand, in Jammu and Kashmir, with high development rates and the lowest fertility rate among the big eight states for which NFHS-5 data have been published, the fertility rate of Muslims (1.45) it is lower than the fertility rate. of Hindus in any of the other states.
The TFR for Hindus is also low in Jammu and Kashmir at 1.32. Of the nine states in NFHS-5, TGF is above replacement level in the Muslim community in only two states, Kerala (2.3) and Bihar (3.6), which are at two ends of the development spectrum. This shows that beyond cultural and geographical factors, the level of development of a specific community is also a determinant of its TFR.
In Kerala, despite its high level of general literacy, Muslim women’s literacy is low. Similarly, in Assam, Muslims are the most backward religious community from a socio-economic point of view. NFHS-5 state reports show that women in rural areas have higher fertility than their urban counterparts in all states, including Assam. And Muslims in Assam are found in a higher proportion in rural areas where they made up 36.6% in NFHS-5, than in urban areas, where they were only 18.6% of the population. Lower educational levels also have an impact.
According to the NFHS-5 report on Assam, women without schooling would have an average of 0.8 more children than women with 12 or more years of schooling. The 2011 census recorded that the literacy level of Muslims in Assam was 62% compared to 78% among Hindus and that only 1.7% of Muslims were graduates or higher compared to 5% among the Hindus. A Dibrugarh University study on the connection between education and fertility with reference to the Assamese Muslim community, published in March last year, concluded that the mother’s level of education significantly affected fertility and that fertility in Assamese Muslims it could be reduced by improving education. community level, especially women. The NFHS-4 report on India examined the fertility rate of the different wealth quintiles (one fifth of the population) and showed that the section with the lowest income had the highest number of children with 3.2 and the most rich the less, 1.5. Thus, fertility has more to do with social determinants than just ‘population control

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