The National Health Profile 2018 has revealed that the birth rate in Assam has come down between 2014 and 2016 and yet continued to be above the national average. The report said the birth rate of Assam was 22.4 in 2014. t came down to 22 in 2015 and to 21.7 in 2016. The country’s birth rate came down from 21 in 2014 to 20.8 in 2015 and then to 20.4 in 2016. Birth rate is defined as the number of live births per 1000 of the population per year. Assam’s birth rate was eighth highest among all the states in 2016. The revelation has come at a time the state government has adopted a policy to encourage population control by restricting access to government jobs on the basis of family size. Citing data of the National Commission on Population, the report said the average birth rate of the state will be 16.6 by 2025 as against national average of 16.
According to the 2011 census, the population of Assam was 3.12 crore. The commission has projected that by 2026 it will be 3.44 crore. The report said during 2015 and 2016, Assam’s total fertility rate, the average number of children that will be born to a woman during her lifetime, remained unchanged and equal to the national average. The rate was 2.3. In 12 states, the rate fell below two children per woman and nine states have reached replacements levels of 2.1 and above. Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Bengal have the lowest fertility rate among other countries. “Fertility is declining rapidly, including among the poor and unlettered,” the report said. The report has also pointed out that encephalitis continued to be a cause of concern for Assam with maximum number of encephalitis cases were reported from it (5525) during 2017. Altogether 42 people (37 male and five female) lost their lives because of encephalitis. However, it was Odisha which reported the highest number of deaths at 246. – Telegraph India