The figure is below the recognized replacement-level fertility of 2.1, according to the UN Population Division.
NFHS– 5 (2019-21) data showed that the TFR in rural areas was 2.1 and only 1.6 in urban areas. In NFHS -4 (2015-16), the TFR was 2.2.
The replacement fertility rate varies according to country and depends on mortality rate, especially child mortality.
In developed nations, total fertility rate of 2.0 or slightly above is considered sufficient for replacement as there is low mortality rate. In 2019, the European Union had an infant mortality rate of just 3.4 deaths per 1,000 live births.
However, in developing nations, where child mortality is high, the TFR for replacement level ranges between 2.5 and 3.3.
The latest health survey revealed that the infant mortality rate in India stands at 35.2 deaths per 1,000 live births. Neonatal mortality rate is at 24.9 deaths per 1,000 live births, and under-five mortality rate is at 41.9 deaths per 1,000 live births.
According to the United Nation Population Division projections, India’s population growth peaked around 1980 and has been declining ever since. From 2060 onwards, India’s population will start falling, which happens when fertility rate falls below replacement levels for an extended period.