|Population panic turns to concern about fertility problems|
by Shannon Roberts
It was a visit to a crowded Indian street that first led Paul Erhlich to devise his now disproven theories about the mass starvation of humans due to overpopulation. Many still assume India to be an increasingly over-populated country with a high fertility rate. However, that is simply not the case. The Times of India recently reported that the fertility rate in Indian cities is now lower than that of the United States, Australia and France, stating:
Data from the Sample Registration Survey (SRS) on the total fertility rate (TFR) shows that since 2006 the TFR in urban areas has touched 2 children per woman and from 2010 has fallen below that level. That means there aren't enough children born in Indian cities to replace the existing population of their parents.
The rural fertility rate of 2.5 is higher, but it too has declined steeply. The household size of urban areas and slums are also now similar (averaging about 4.7 people), with slum areas achieving a far more equal child sex ratio (probably due to less access to ultrasound technology).
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