Population Projections for India up to the End of the Twenty-First Century
Purushottam M. Kulkarni, Jawaharlal Nehru University
The importance of population projections for India, with a sixth of the world’s population, cannot be overemphasised. This paper examines various projections and raises issues pertinent to making projections up to the end of the twenty-first century. There is a broad consensus that mortality will fall steadily and that international migration will remain negligible. While recent trends show a clear fall in fertility, views on the extent and pace of future fertility decline diverge. With evidence on the emergence of the one-child family in some sections of population, the possibility of this norm being widely accepted in the future cannot be ruled out. Though marriage remains nearly universal and there is little evidence of voluntary childlessness, globalisation and social change can impact marriage preferences and fertility behavior. Population projections for India need to factor in changes in these aspects as also India’s well-recognized regional diversity in demographic behaviour.