India has done it: demographic transition already underway in India

IIPS Newsl. 1995 Oct;36(3-4):2-8.


PIP: The author posits that a classical demographic transition in India in underway. Birth and death rates are declining in both rural and urban areas of all states. Specifically, the following four stages were completed. 1) During 1941-71, the death rate declined sharply and the birth rate declined somewhat. 2) The natural growth rate increased dramatically from 8.7 to 22.2. 3) After 1971, the birth rate began to decline dramatically over a 10-year period and the natural growth rate stabilized at 22.2. 4) During 1981-91, the magnitude of the birth rate decline was greater than the death rate decline. The natural growth rate declined to 19.7. The final stage of transition is the current one. The natural growth rate is expected to decline at a faster rate until it reaches zero. The birth rate ranges from 18.1 in Kerala to 35.8 in Madhya Pradesh. It is expected in the final stage of India's demographic transition that the crude birth rate will decline to 21 in 2003 and the crude death rate will decline to 8. The natural growth rate under such a scenario would be 13. The estimation of the decline in the crude birth rate is based on present determinant factors, such as literacy, wealth generation, energy consumption, and food availability. Future strategies should continue with the improvement in the role of the Family Welfare Department and with continued strengthening of existing programs. The rise in population size should be understood as a natural historical demographic process and not a reason to dismantle and destabilize a program going back to 1951. Rajasthan and Haryana have legislation that bars people from holding office, if their family size is greater than two children. This action is commended. India has a need for government to demystify contraception as was accomplished in Thailand and to create awareness of modern methods and the potential for side effects without discouraging use.

MeSH terms

  • Asia
  • Demography
  • Developing Countries
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic*
  • India
  • Population
  • Population Dynamics*