Child marriage down in some states of country: NFHS

There has been a decline in child marriage figures in the country, but its figures have been found to be increasing in Tripura, Punjab, West Bengal, Manipur and Assam, as revealed by the report of the fifth phase of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5).

It was released on Friday by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in Vadodara, Gujarat. The survey was conducted between 2019 and 2021.

Tripura has the highest increase in child marriage figures. According to the latest survey, the percentage of child marriage among women there was 33.1 per cent, which has now risen to 40.1 per cent. Where in the case of boys it has gone from 16.2 to 20.4 per cent.

Some of the biggest progress in improving legal marriage has been seen in Chhattisgarh, where underage marriages have fallen from 21.3% to 12.1% among women and from 26.9% to 16.2% among men. the men; Haryana (19.4% to 12.5% for women and 23.9% to 16% for men); Madhya Pradesh (32.4% to 23.1% for women), Rajasthan (35.5% to 25.5% among women, 35.7% to 28.2% for men).

However, the rate of child marriage among women across the country has dropped from 26.8% to 23.3%. While in the case of boys, this figure has gone from 20.3 per cent to 17.7 per cent.

Importantly, it also emerged that India’s total fertility rate has now dropped from 2.2 to 2.0.

This means that the measures taken to control the population in the country are now giving positive results. According to the latest survey, ie the fourth phase of NFHS, the country’s fertility rate was 2.7.

Now the fertility rate of only 5 states in the country is higher than 2.1. These include Bihar (2.98), Meghalaya (2.91), Uttar Pradesh (2.35), Jharkhand (2.26), and Manipur (2.17).

India’s total fertility rate (TFR) has declined from 2.2 children in 2015-16 to 2 children per woman now, the latest edition of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) showed. The TFR is currently below the fertility replacement level of 2.1 children per woman.

According to the report, the average age of first childbirth among women aged 25 to 49 in 21.2 years, and about seven per cent of women aged 15 to 19 have started having children, which is only a one per cent decrease from 2015-16. About a quarter (23 per cent) of currently married women ages 15 to 49 want another child, the NFHS noted.

The TFR ranges from 1.1 children per woman in Sikkim to 3 children per woman in Bihar. Thirty-one states and union territories, including all states in the Southern Region, Western Region and Northern Region, have fertility below the replacement level of 2.1 children per woman, the NFHS showed.

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