Total Fertility Rate : Sample Registration System Survey

The Sample Registration System (SRS) is the largest demographic survey in the country mandated to provide annual estimates of fertility as well as mortality indicators at the state and national level. The survey is released by the Registrar General of India (RGI).

Findings from the Sample Registration System Survey for 2017

  • The total fertility rate (TFR) has declined to an all-time low of 2.2 in 2017 after being stable at 2.3 for the four years from 2013 to 2016.
  • Bihar had the highest TFR at 3.2 which was about twice that of Kerala 1.7 and Delhi 1.5 which scored the
  • The average fertility rate went down primarily in southern states such as Tamil Nadu (1.6), Andhra Pradesh (1.6), Telangana (1.7), Kerala (1.7) and Karnataka (1.7).
  • Even the hill states of Jammu & Kashmir (1.6), Himachal Pradesh (1.6) and Uttarakhand (1.9) along with Delhi (1.5), West Bengal (1.6) Punjab (1.6) and Odisha (1.9) have reported TFR below the national TFR in 2017.
  • The national TFR has reduced from 5.2 to 4.5 in the 1971-1981 period and from 3.6 to 2.2 in 1991-2017.
  • The decline was steeper in urban areas than in rural areas. The TFR has come down from 4.1to 1.7 from 1971 to 2017 in urban areas whereas the corresponding decline in rural areas has been from 5.4 to 2.4 during the same period.
  • The findings can be corroborated by fertility rates based on educational qualifications. The literate women have recorded a gradual decline of TFR to 2.1 while that for women with no education for 2017 was 2.9.
  • The fertility declined in the older age groups in rural areas while it increased for the corresponding age groups in urban areas in the last decade.
  • The decline in fertility was slower in the middle age groups 20-34 for both urban and rural areas.
  • The minimum decline of 2.6% has been noticed in the age group 30-34 at national level. Fertility declines from age 30 in all the bigger states/UTs, except Jammu & Kashmir where it declines from age 35

TFR refers to the average number of children expected to be born per woman during her entire reproductive span (15-49), assuming that age-specific fertility rates remain the same and there is no mortality.

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