Contrary to Himanta’s claim, there is sharp decline in fertility of Muslims in Assam since 2005-6

A Bengali Indian Muslim family living in Assam, India. Photo by Vishal Arora./

By Muslim Mirror Staff

New Delhi: Assam’s Islamophobic Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who has six children, has asked ”immigrant Muslims” to adopt ”decent family planning” policy. However, government data suggests that fertility rate of Muslims in has seen a sharp decline in the past 14 years.

The fifth National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), which was released in December 2020, said that fertility rate of Muslims in the state has come down to 2.4 while it stood at 3.64 in 2005-6 according to the NFHS-4.

They have recorded a drop of 1.3 compared to 0.4 among Hindus from the same period, although from a lower base.

Hindus in Assam had fertility rates of 1.95. By 2019-20, NFHS-5 showed Hindu fertility rate fell to 1.6.

The NFHS-5 showed the geographic and cultural factors as well as development play an important role in determining the fertility rate of communities in the country.  In Bihar with poor development indices, the fertility rate of all communities including Hindus (2.9) is higher than that of Muslims in Assam and most other states. On the flip side of this, in Jammu and Kashmir, with high development indices and the lowest fertility rate among the eight large states for which NFHS-5 data has been released, the fertility rate of Muslims (1.45) is lower than the fertility rate of Hindus in any of the other states.


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