UP, Bihar numbers encouraging: 8.7 percentage points increase in contraceptive use in 5 years, NFHS data show
The increased use of contraceptives across the country has made an important contribution to preventing unwanted pregnancies and thereby lowering India’s overall fertility rate below replacement levels, NFHS-5 data shows.
In the five years between NFHS-4 (2015-16) and NHFS-5 (2019-20), the use of modern contraceptives for family planning rose from 47.8 percent to 56.5 percent, as data shows.
While 30 out of 36 states / UTs showed an increase in contraceptive use, experts point out that the improvement in the numbers of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar was particularly encouraging given their large populations. In Bihar, the prevalence rate of modern contraceptives has almost doubled: from 23.3% for NFHS-4 to 44.4% for NFHS-5.
“The decline in fertility is a function of three main factors: the use of contraceptives, increasing the age at marriage, and abortions,” said Dr. Niranjan Saggurti, Director of the Population Council of India. “In Bihar, the age at marriage remains low, with 43% of girls in NFHS 4 being married under 18, while in NFHS-5 they have declined slightly to 41% under 18. What has been successful, however, is the rise of modern contraceptives. This indicates that family planning programs are being promoted by the state government. But the most important thing in Bihar’s case is the rise in education, which has led to increased use of contraception and increased family planning. “
Saggurti points out that the good news for UP is that the age at marriage has risen. Twenty-one percent of women under 18 were married, NFHS-4 had found, which is down 5 percentage points in five years – 16 percent of girls under 18 were married in UP, the latest poll reported.
“UP has also shown a very good balanced mix of contraceptive methods, with a shift from sterilization to reversible contraception,” said Saggurti.
His contraceptive mix now includes 40% sterilization and 60% using reversible contraceptive methods. In UP, contraceptive use increased from 31.7 percent in 2015-16 to 44.5 percent in 2019-20. UP has also shown a small 0.4 percent decrease in female sterilization. The date show Bihar (21%), Goa (35.3%), Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (24%), Nagaland (24%) and Arunachal Pradesh (20.6%) reported the highest increases in contraceptive use at NFHS -5 versus NFHS 4. Rajasthan has also shown a significant 9 percent increase in contraceptive use.
Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Haryana and Goa use 60 percent or more contraceptives.
Punjab and Ladakh saw the highest decreases, while Meghalaya (22.5%) and Manipur (18.2%) had the lowest contraceptive use in the country.
“The data shows that women want smaller families. While contraceptive use has increased, indicating improved success in the Indian family planning program, women would have fewer pregnancies if they had better access to contraception and freedom of choice, “said Alok Vajpeyi, head of knowledge management at India Population Foundation .
Prof. K. James, director of the International Institute for Population Sciences, the health ministry’s partner organization that conducted the survey, said a TFR correction in four states – Bihar, UP, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan – is putting India on a definite course becomes correction for population control.
“One of the most important factors that help lower the TFR is the use of modern methods of contraception,” said James. “Despite the fact that the marriage age of women in the country has not increased significantly, and in some states 30-40 percent marry women under the age of 18, family planning programs are showing results. Once countries reach 60 percent of contraceptive use, they will reach replacement levels.
“Family planning was the most funded program … because of ongoing concerns about overpopulation. But what these results have shown is that this can be achieved with increased contraception … “