Fertility levels drop below one in many Asian nations.

Syllabus: GS-I, Subject: Geography, Topic: Population and Migration, Issue: Fertility rate

Context: Falling fertility rates in various countries below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman.

Reasons for declining birth rates:

  • Significant shift in cultural attitudes towards family size and child-rearing responsibilities.
  • Social shifts, like more opportunities for women in education and careers, declining marriage rates, and the high cost of raising children, are driving down birth rates.
  • Many women delay marriage and childbirth to pursue personal and professional goals.
  • Stricter family planning measures.


  • Low birth rates contribute to an aging population, creating economic challenges like higher healthcare costs and a shrinking workforce.
  • Governments invest in incentivizing childbirth, but the impact remains uncertain.

Prelims Connect:(Terms in news):

Total Fertility Rate:

●       It is a measure used to estimate the average number of children a woman is expected to have in her lifetime based on current age-specific fertility rates.

●       Replacement level fertility: This is the rate needed to maintain a stable population size over time, accounting for mortality rates and other factors.

●       Typically considered to be around 2.1 children per woman.

●       A TFR below 2.1 indicates that the population is not replacing itself, leading to population decline in the long term. Conversely, a TFR above 2.1 suggests population growth.

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