August 22, 2010
Indian Government Paying To Delay Childbirths

Selling 2 year delays in childbirth.

SATARA, India — Sunita Laxman Jadhav is a door-to-door saleswoman who sells waiting. She sweeps along muddy village lanes in her nurse’s white sari, calling on newly married couples with an unblushing proposition: Wait two years before getting pregnant, and the government will thank you

With 1.173 billion mostly poor people, an average age of 25, 2.65 children born/woman (2010 est.), and a population growth rate of 1.376% (2010 est.) India is on a path toward adding over 500 million more people by 2050. A shocking number given that India already has 10 times the population density of the United States.

5,000 rupees to delay childbirth for 2 years. What a deal.

It also will pay you.

“I want to tell you about our honeymoon package,” began Ms. Jadhav, an auxiliary nurse, during a recent house call on a new bride in this farming region in the state of Maharashtra. Ms. Jadhav explained that the district government would pay 5,000 rupees, or about $106, if the couple waited to have children. Waiting, she promised, would allow them time to finish their schooling or to save money.

Delays will slow population growth by increasing times between population doublings.

Africa, firmly stuck in a Malthusian Trap, is on course to double its population to 2.1 billion people by 2050.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 August 22 02:44 PM  Trends Demographic

Fat Man said at August 22, 2010 5:52 PM:

It is not a real problem. India population trends are following those of every developing country.

Razib summarizes with graphs:
“India’s” population bomb isn’t rocket science

Randall Parker said at August 22, 2010 7:28 PM:

Fat Man,

A few points:

1) India's young population means that even with declining fertility it is going to add hundreds of millions more people. That's baked in given the average age.

2) The fact that the fertility level is uneven and that the poorer and more heavily populated areas are making more babies means that area will become an even larger fraction of the total population of India. Therefore its fertility rate will become a larger determinant of the country's fertility. So unless fertility declines in those areas overall fertility could bottom out and start rising again.

3) Adding a few more billion people to the world's population is a problem because it means less wilderness, more soil depletion, more resource usage, more pollution, etc. Population growth is a problem against which technological progress races. Technological progress has not prevented more severe effects on habitats from population growth.

Sione said at August 24, 2010 11:52 PM:


No worries. More people means more minds working on new technologies. It means more people to finance them and more people to purchase them when they get to market. All to the good really.


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