Female literacy lowered birth rate reduction in Delhi

New Delhi, Sep 14 (Calcutta Tube) The birth of a fourth child in the capital has come down in a big way in the last two decades, a Delhi government report Tuesday pointed out adding that there is a direct relationship between the level of educational attainment of the mother and order of births in a family.

According to the annual report on ‘Registration of Birth and Death events in Delhi-2009’, prepared by the economics and statistics directorate, of the total births in 1991, nearly 19.94 percent of the new-borns were fourth in their family, while the number declined to 2.79 percent in 2009 when about 3.54 lakh babies were born.

Out of the total births registered in 2009, about 1.85 lakh were male while 1.69 lakhs female.

The report was released by Delhi’s Finance and Planning Minister A.K. Walia.

It said of the total births of fourth and higher order, in 38 percent cases the mothers were illiterate while in 22 percent cases, the qualification of mother was below primary level. In about 25 percent cases, the mothers could not complete their matriculation.

‘Therefore, about 86 percent of the total births of fourth and higher order were from the mothers who were either illiterate or below metric qualification. Thus, improvement in female literacy will have direct impact on further reducing the birth rate,’ the report said.

Speaking at the function, Walia added that the sex ratio in the capital has also risen. He said during 2009, the sex ratio figures have stabilised at 915 females per thousand males. The figure was 848 females per 1,000 males in 2007 while it was 867 in 1991 and 809 in 2001.

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