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The Hindu: Slowdown in growth rate of Muslims

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  • mohammad imran
    Date:01/05/2005 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2005/05/01/stories/2005050102130900.htm National Slowdown in growth rate of Muslims Special Correspondent NEW
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2005
      Date:01/05/2005 URL:


      "Slowdown in growth rate of Muslims"

      Special Correspondent

      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.

      Family planning

      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.

      National pattern

      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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