Home » Lowering Fertility Rate in the Valley is an Economic Issue

Lowering Fertility Rate in the Valley is an Economic Issue

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 7 minutes read
Lowering Fertility Rate in the Valley is an Economic Issue

The National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) for the years 2019-21 conducted by the Mumbai-based International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) showed that the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) for the Hindu population in Manipur is reported to be 1.77, for the Muslim population it stands at 2.34, for the Christian population it is 2.94, and for individuals following other religions, the TFR is recorded at 1.79. According to the survey report, the total fertility rate (TFR) in Manipur stands at 2.17 children per woman. The TFR varies between rural and urban areas, with rural areas reporting a slightly higher rate of 2.38 children per woman, while urban areas have a lower TFR of 1.84 children per woman.
These figures reported on Manipur indicate a relatively low overall fertility rate in Manipur, aligning with trends seen in many parts of India. The distinction between rural and urban fertility rates is also noteworthy, reflecting the influence of various socio-economic factors and lifestyle choices on family planning decisions. The report contributed to the ongoing discussion on the declining fertility rate of the Meiteis since most Meiteis reside in the valley and the majority of them identify as Hindu in these surveys. Many lamented the situation and have looked at it as socially and politically. Many civil bodies are worried that it is not a healthy trend for the community in the valley given the electoral politics ultimately is a number game still. But, their concerns do not dwell much on the crux of the matter – the economy of Manipur. Coming to socio-economic factors, unemployment and joblessness could be the main problem directly contributing to the lower urban fertility rate in the case of Manipur. Many sociologist and economists have highlighted the relationship between unemployment rates and delayed marriage and subsequent fertility choices.
When it comes to unemployment, youths of Manipur have suffered from unemployment and deprivation for more than a decade. According to official reports, as of May 2014, there were 701987 educated youth actively seeking employment in Manipur. By the end of March 2014, 326548 job seekers were live-registered. A total of 473037 individuals, including 335764 males, were removed from the live register that year. This removal was attributed to reasons such as non-renewal and exceeding the specified age limit for registration. In 2016, the issue of unemployment in Manipur persisted and even escalated, leading to the out-migration of young individuals and exacerbating conditions conducive to corruption in government job recruitments. The state witnessed a rise in registered unemployment, with the literacy rate standing at 79.85 percent, surpassing the national average of 74.04 percent. As of the end of February that year, the number of registered unemployed individuals in Manipur reached 7, 49,935. The Economic Survey of Manipur for the fiscal year 2020-21 has reported a substantial unemployment rate within the age group of 15 to 24, standing at approximately 44.4 percent. Manipur, with an estimated population of 30 lakh, is grappling with a significant challenge in terms of providing employment opportunities, especially for its youth.
High unemployment rates for such long period can lead to delayed family formation more so in urban areas since urban living typically entails higher living costs, encompassing housing, education, and healthcare. These financial strain exacerbated by unemployment often influences couples to limit the number of children, effectively managing economic resources. Moreover, residents in urban areas, with access to diverse educational and career opportunities, may prioritize career and educational goals, which is coupled by the evolving gender roles, where women prioritize education and career development leading to deferred marriages and delayed childbearing, thereby contributing to a diminished fertility rate.
Understanding the intricate relationship between urban fertility rates and socio-economic factors, including unemployment, is crucial for devising effective policies. Government policies supporting employment opportunities, social security, and family-friendly workplaces can mitigate the impact of unemployment on fertility rates. Policies that address economic challenges in urban areas can contribute to a more supportive environment for family formation.Lowering Fertility Rate in the Valley is an Economic Issue
The National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) for the years 2019-21 conducted by the Mumbai-based International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) showed that the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) for the Hindu population in Manipur is reported to be 1.77, for the Muslim population it stands at 2.34, for the Christian population it is 2.94, and for individuals following other religions, the TFR is recorded at 1.79.  According to the survey report, the total fertility rate (TFR) in Manipur stands at 2.17 children per woman. The TFR varies between rural and urban areas, with rural areas reporting a slightly higher rate of 2.38 children per woman, while urban areas have a lower TFR of 1.84 children per woman.
These figures reported on Manipur indicate a relatively low overall fertility rate in Manipur, aligning with trends seen in many parts of India. The distinction between rural and urban fertility rates is also noteworthy, reflecting the influence of various socio-economic factors and lifestyle choices on family planning decisions. The report contributed to the ongoing discussion on the declining fertility rate of the Meiteis since most Meiteis reside in the valley and the majority of them identify as Hindu in these surveys.  Many lamented the situation and have looked at it as socially and politically. Many civil bodies are worried that it is not a healthy trend for the community in the valley given the electoral politics ultimately is a number game still.  But, their concerns do not dwell much on the crux of the matter – the economy of Manipur. Coming to socio-economic factors, unemployment and joblessness could be the main problem directly contributing to the lower urban fertility rate in the case of Manipur. Many sociologist and economists have highlighted the relationship between unemployment rates and delayed marriage and subsequent fertility choices.
When it comes to unemployment, youths of Manipur have suffered from unemployment and deprivation for more than a decade. According to official reports, as of May 2014, there were 701987 educated youth actively seeking employment in Manipur. By the end of March 2014, 326548 job seekers were live-registered. A total of 473037 individuals, including 335764 males, were removed from the live register that year. This removal was attributed to reasons such as non-renewal and exceeding the specified age limit for registration. In 2016, the issue of unemployment in Manipur persisted and even escalated, leading to the out-migration of young individuals and exacerbating conditions conducive to corruption in government job recruitments. The state witnessed a rise in registered unemployment, with the literacy rate standing at 79.85 percent, surpassing the national average of 74.04 percent. As of the end of February that year, the number of registered unemployed individuals in Manipur reached 7, 49,935. The Economic Survey of Manipur for the fiscal year 2020-21 has reported a substantial unemployment rate within the age group of 15 to 24, standing at approximately 44.4 percent. Manipur, with an estimated population of 30 lakh, is grappling with a significant challenge in terms of providing employment opportunities, especially for its youth.
High unemployment rates for such long period can lead to delayed family formation more so in urban areas since urban living typically entails higher living costs, encompassing housing, education, and healthcare. These financial strain exacerbated by unemployment often influences couples to limit the number of children, effectively managing economic resources. Moreover, residents in urban areas, with access to diverse educational and career opportunities, may prioritize career and educational goals, which is coupled by the evolving gender roles, where women prioritize education and career development leading to deferred marriages and delayed childbearing, thereby contributing to a diminished fertility rate.
Understanding the intricate relationship between urban fertility rates and socio-economic factors, including unemployment, is crucial for devising effective policies. Government policies supporting employment opportunities, social security, and family-friendly workplaces can mitigate the impact of unemployment on fertility rates. Policies that address economic challenges in urban areas can contribute to a more supportive environment for family formation.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

ABOUT US

Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092

FOLLOW US ON IG

©2023 – All Right Reserved. Designed and Hosted by eManipur!

Adblock Detected

Please support us by disabling your AdBlocker extension from your browsers for our website.