8.7 contraception uses helps in India’s fertility rate fall

In just five years, from NFHS 4 (2015-16) to NHFS 5 (2019-20), the use of modern contraceptives for family planning has jumped by 8.7 percentage points – from 47.8 per cent to 56.5 percent.

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The increased use of contraception across the country has been a major factor in preventing unwanted pregnancies, leading the fertility rate to decrease in India.

In just five years, from NFHS 4 (2015-16) to NHFS 5 (2019-20), the use of modern contraceptives for family planning has jumped by 8.7 percentage points – from 47.8 per cent to 56.5 percent.

While as many as 30 out of 36 states/UTs have shown an increase in contraception use, population and reproductive health experts point out that the improvement in Uttar Pradesh’s and Bihar’s numbers have been especially encouraging, given their large populations. In Bihar, the Modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate has almost doubled — from 23.3 per cent in NHFS 4 to 44.4 per cent in NFHS 5.

“The decrease in fertility is the function of three main factors – the use of contraception, increase in the age of marriage and abortions. In Bihar, while the age of marriage continues to remain low, with 43 per cent girls married under the age of 18 years in NFHS 4, which has decreased marginally to 41 per cent under the age of 18 years in NFHS 5, what has been successful has been the increase in modern contraceptive use. This point to the push in family planning schemes by the state government. But what is most significant in the Bihar case is the increase in education – which has translated into increased use of contraception and increased family planning,’’ says director, Population Council of India, Dr. Niranjan Saggurti.

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