UPSC Essentials: Data on your tips- NFHS 5 on underage marriages and TFR

Aspirants must have a knowledge of some very essential data and their trends for Prelims, supporting their arguments in GS Mains, and have an impressive reply in their interview. The latest released NFHS-5 data shows some changing trends in underage marriages, use of contraceptives, and TFR.

Relevance: Prelims- Economic and Social Development

Mains- GS I- Society -GS II- issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources 

What does the latest data of the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5) say about underage marriages?

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– The underage marriage both in men and women has seen a decline from NFHS-4. According to NFHS-5, 23.3% of women surveyed got married before attaining the legal age of 18 years, down from 26.8% reported in NFHS-4. The figure for underage marriage among men is 17.7% (NFHS-5) and 20.3% (NFHS-4).

-As per the NFHS-5 national average of underage marriages has come down but some of the states show an increase in the rate.

-Tripura has seen the largest jump in marriages under the legal age of 18 years for women from 33.1% (NFHS-4) to 40.1%, and from 16.2% to 20.4% among men.

-West Bengal, along with Bihar, remains one of the states with the highest rate of underage marriages.

-It is important to note that in Bihar, while the rate has come down, that reduction is marginal: from 42.5% (NFHS-4) to 40.8% (NFHS-5) for women, and 35.3% to 30.5%, respectively, for men.

-The biggest gains in improving legal marriage have been seen in Chhattisgarh, where underage marriages have come down from 21.3% to 12.1% among women and from 26.9% to 16.2% among men.

– Underage marriages are lowest in J&K, Lakshadweep, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Nagaland, Kerala, Puducherry, and Tamil Nadu.

What does the latest data of NFHS-5 have to say about the use of modern contraception?

-According to the survey, the knowledge of contraceptive methods is almost universal in India — more than 99% of married women and men aged between 15 and 49 know at least one modern method.

-But the use of modern contraceptives for family planning is only 56.4%.

What does the latest data on NFHS-5 tell about the fertility rate?

-Total Fertility Rates, an average number of children per woman, have declined from 2.2 (NFHS-4) to 2.0 at the national level.

-The Survey says only five states are above the replacement level of fertility of 2.1: Bihar (2.98), Meghalaya (2.91), Uttar Pradesh (2.35), Jharkhand (2.26) Manipur (2.17).

-Institutional births have increased substantially from 79% to 89%.

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