The Hindu: Slowdown in growth rate of Muslims
- Date:01/05/2005 URL:
"Slowdown in growth rate of Muslims"
NEW DELHI: A detailed analysis of `The First Report on Religion Data'
has exploded several myths about Muslims. Contrary to popular
perception that the growth rate among Muslims was galloping, a study
conducted by an experts' committee — set up by the National Commission
for Minorities — shows that there has been a slowdown in the
community's growth rate.
Announcing the results of the study here on Saturday, demographer
Ashis Bose said that while the inter-censal growth of Muslim population
during 1991-2001 was higher than the overall growth of the country's
population during the same decade, the community's growth dropped by
3.4 per cent over the same period.
The inter-censal growth of Muslim population was 29.5 per cent as
against 32.9 per cent during 1981-91, 30.7 per cent in 1971-81 and 30.8
per cent in 1961-71. While the 29.5 per cent growth of Muslim
population was higher than the overall 21.5 per cent growth of the
country's population during 1991-2001, this was the first time it cut
through the 30 per cent barrier.
Also, Prof. Bose said there was no merit in the perception that
Muslims were against family planning. "Overall, the ideas of fertility
regulation and small family size are being well accepted by the Muslim
community in India as has been the case in major Islamic countries like
Indonesia, Iran, Egypt, Bangladesh, Libya and Malaysia.''
The analysis revealed that as high as 37 per cent of Muslim women were
practising family planning measures. And, the opposition to family
planning measures was not because of religious reasons, but the method.
Most women opposed to family planning measures were not favourably
inclined towards sterilisation.
Of the view that the higher than average fertility and growth of
Muslims is a passing phase in the process of fertility transition,
Prof. Bose said migration from Bangladesh was also a contributory
factor to the community's growth. However, in the absence of data on
migrations, the committee was unable to fix the quantum of its
influence on the overall growth of the community. Added to this the
fact that the migrants have now moved to all parts of the country
unlike in earlier decades when they confined themselves to the border
The growth of Muslims followed the national pattern: low in the
Southern States and higher in the Northern States — particularly Bihar,
Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The community has bettered
the national sex ratio of 933 with 936 girls to 1,000 boys.
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