[Editorial Analysis] India’s population grew at 1.2 % average annual rate between 2010 and 2019: UN report

Mains Paper 2 : Governance

Prelims level : United Nations Population Fund

Mains level : Populations associated issues


• The World Population 2019 report of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was released recently.

Key highlights

• India’s population in 2019 stands at 1.36 billion, growing from 541.5 million in 1969 and 942.2 million in 1994.

• It accounts for over one-sixth of the world’s population in 2019 (7.71 billion).

• India has seen a growth rate of 1.2% per year between 2010 and 2019.

• This is just over the world growth rate of 1.2%.

• China, the world’s most populous country at 1.42 billion, has a population growth rate of 0.5% per year between 2010 and 2019.

• 27% of India’s population is in the age bracket of 0-14 years and 10-24 years each.

• 67% of the country’s population is in the 15-64 age bracket.

• 6% of the country’s population is of the age 65 and above.

• Life expectancy at birth in India is lower than the world’s (69 years to 72).

• India scores higher than the global average in terms of access to healthcare during childbirth.

• Between 2006 and 2017, 86% of births in India were attended by skilled health personnel (79% across the world).

• India’s maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in 2015 was 174 deaths per lakh live births (down from 448 in 1994).

• On the other hand, the global MMR in 2015 was 216.

• Two-thirds of all maternal deaths today are said to occur in sub-Saharan Africa.

• Adolescent birth rate in India is much lower than the global rate.

• 28 in every 1,000 Indian adolescent women (age 15-19) gave birth between 2006 and 2017.

• In contrast, the global adolescent birth rate was at 44 per 1,000.

• Fertility rate in India in 2019 is 2.3 births per woman, compared to 2.5 worldwide.

• In India, the total fertility rate per woman has been reduced from 5.6 in 1969 and 3.7 in 1994 to 2.3 today.

• Globally, the average number of births per woman has been reduced form from 4.8 in 1969 and 2.9 in 1994 to 2.5 today.

Major concerns

• Early marriage continues to present a major cultural obstacle to female empowerment and better reproductive rights.

• A girl who marries when she is 10 will probably leave school and consequently, loses the negotiating skills and job opportunities.

• The report includes, for the first time, data on women’s ability to make decisions over three key areas.

• These are sexual intercourse with their partner, contraception use and health care.

• It notes that absence of reproductive and sexual rights has major and negative repercussions on women’s education, income and safety.

• Ultimately, they are not in a position to shape their own futures.

Way forward

• Despite the concerns, millions have enjoyed healthier and more productive lives in the 50 years since the UNFPA was founded.

• Unintended pregnancies and maternal deaths have dramatically been reduced with efforts from civil society and governments.

• Going ahead, the threat to women’s and girls’ reproductive rights posed by emergencies caused by conflict or climate disasters should be addressed.

• Every day, more than 500 women and girls including in countries with emergency settings, die during pregnancy and childbirth.

• About 35 million women, girls and young people will need life-saving sexual and reproductive health services in the coming year.

• Services to address gender-based violence, in humanitarian settings, are also a need of the hour.


Prelims Questions:

Q.1) Consider the following statements related to Interim Budget:

1. The Interim Budget is a budget which is announced in an election year by the incumbent government.

2. The Constitution prohibits the Government from announcing new schemes or amending tax laws in the Interim Budget.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Correct Answer: A

Mains Questions:

Q.1) Describe the highlights of the World Population 2019 Report.

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