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April 13 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


India’s population dynamics have long been a focal point of discussions, with projections indicating a potential population of 1.7 billion by 2065.  

This brings attention not only to the growth aspect but also to the changing fertility rates, a less-explored dimension of demographic transition. 

About Demographic Transition and Dividend 

  • Demographic Transition: Refers to changes in population composition over time due to shifts in birth and death rates, migration, and socio-economic conditions. 
  • Demographic Dividend: Occurs when a country’s population moves from a high dependency ratio (more dependents) to a lower one, with more working-age adults. This shift can boost economic growth if leveraged correctly. 

Factors Driving India’s Demographic Transition 

  • Economic Growth: Rapid economic development since the early 21st century has improved living standards, healthcare, and education, leading to reduced fertility rates. 
  • Reduced Child Mortality: Better healthcare and reduced infant mortality have decreased the necessity for larger families. 
  • Women’s Empowerment: Increasing education and workforce participation among women have led to delayed childbirth and smaller family sizes. 
  • Improved Housing: Better living conditions influence family planning decisions, encouraging smaller families. 

Projected Fertility Rates 

  • The government projects Total Fertility Rates (TFR) of 1.94 (2021-2025) and 1.73 (2031-2035). 
  • In contrast, The Lancet report suggests a decline to 1.29 by 2051. 
  • This suggests India’s population might stabilize below 1.7 billion before 2065. 

Challenges Posed by Demographic Transition 

  • Dependency Ratio Shift: A declining TFR initially reduces the dependency ratio but can later increase due to an aging population, straining healthcare and social welfare resources. 
  • Regional Disparities: Fertility rate decline varies across states, with states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar lagging, potentially widening regional economic and healthcare disparities. 
  • Labour Productivity: Managing an aging workforce while ensuring skill development for the younger generation poses challenges to economic growth. 

Opportunities Presented by Demographic Transition 

  • Enhanced Labour Productivity: Declining population growth can boost per capita capital resources and infrastructure, enhancing labour productivity. 
  • Resource Reallocation: Reduced fertility rates allow reallocating resources to education and skill development, improving human capital. 
  • Increased Women’s Participation: With less time devoted to childcare, more women are expected to join the workforce, as seen in schemes like MGNREGA. 
  • Spatial Redistribution of Labour: Movement of labour from surplus regions to industrial hubs can balance the labour market, reducing wage discrimination and enhancing working conditions. 

The Way Forward 

  • Harnessing the Demographic Dividend: By focusing on sectoral and spatial redistribution, skill development, and increasing women’s participation, India can leverage its demographic dividend for economic growth. 
  • Global Competitiveness: Effective utilization of the demographic dividend can elevate India’s global economic standing, as highlighted in the Asia 2050 report. 
  • Policy Implications: Evolving population dynamics necessitate policies addressing healthcare, education, and skill development, catering to women and marginalized groups for inclusive growth. 


India stands at a critical juncture with its evolving demographic landscape offering both challenges and opportunities.  

Effective policy formulation and implementation are crucial to harnessing the demographic dividend, ensuring sustainable economic growth, and enhancing global competitiveness. 

Mains Question: 

  1. Discuss the implications of India’s evolving demographic transition on its economic growth and policy considerations. (150 words)


April 13
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category:
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