For an increasing number of couples in India, having a child is no longer as alluring as it once used to be. With “career first” becoming the new norm for young and middle-aged couples, the status of motherhood has seen a drastic fall across India. The recently released Census Report (2016) on the fertility status of India indicates declining fertility among Indian women, with an alarming decline of 31 per cent recorded for the period 1991 to 2016.
More and more women in India are failing to conceive naturally and need assisted reproductive methods to bear children, say medical practitioners. The rural-urban differential has also narrowed down, indicates the census. Birth rates have declined in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Telangana. While Bihar has the highest birth rate among rural areas in the country, Uttar Pradesh holds the title for urban areas. The lowest birth rate has been recorded in rural areas of Kerala and urban areas of Himachal Pradesh.