Mother and Child Health – Immunization Program, BPBB, PMJSY, PMMSY, etc.

Replacement Level Fertility achieved in India


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: RLF

Mains level: Population stabilization in India

India has achieved replacement level fertility, with 31 States and UTs reaching a Total Fertility Rate (an average number of children per woman) of 2.1 or less, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare has informed Parliament.

What is Replacement Level Fertility?

  • Replacement level fertility is the level of fertility at which a population exactly replaces itself from one generation to the next.
  • In simpler terms, it denotes the fertility number required to maintain the same population number of a country over a given period of time.
  • In developed countries, replacement level fertility can be taken as requiring an average of 2.1 children per woman.
  • In countries with high infant and child mortality rates, however, the average number of births may need to be much higher.
  • RLF will lead to zero population growth only if mortality rates remain constant and migration has no effect.

Benefits of achieving RLF

  • RLF helps ensure greater food security.
  • The reduced demand for food would in turn lessen agri- culture’s impact on the environment.
  • It would also likely lead to economic benefits through a “demographic dividend.”
  • Finally, achieving replacement level fertility would yield significant social benefits―especially for women.

How did India achieve this?

  • Between 2012 and 2020, the country added more than 1.5 crore additional users for modern contraceptives, thereby increasing their use substantially.
  • India has witnessed a paradigm shift from the concept of population control to population stabilisation to interventions being embedded toward ensuring harmony of continuum care.

Way forward

  • Although India has achieved replacement level fertility, there is still a significant population in the reproductive age group that must remain at the centre of our intervention efforts.
  • India’s focus has traditionally been on the supply side, the providers and delivery systems but now it’s time to focus on the demand side which includes family, community and society.
  • Significant change is possible with this focus, instead of an incremental change.


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