Urban Social Myths in India Today

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MYTH 1: Indian Muslims are procreating exponentially and will dilute the Hindu Majority.

One of the enduring myths that invariably comes up in any discussion on Muslims in India is about that community’s high population growth. The implication is that the Muslim population will eventually dilute the Hindu majority – and that indeed, it is claimed, is the aim of the Muslim fifth column. Recent private and official surveys tell another story:

One, India’s fertility rate is now 2.0, below the replacement level of 2.1. India is no longer facing a population explosion; instead, a decline is inevitable. For example, the share of the under-15 population has declined from 28.6% in 2015 to 26.5% in 2019.

Two, in J&K, a state with a Muslim majority (68%), now has the lowest fertility rate in the country at 1.4;

Three, Assam, with the second-highest share of the Muslim population (34%), has a fertility rate of 1.9 i.e. below the national average;

Four, the highest fertility rates are in Bihar (3) and UP (2.4). (Incidentally, both are also at the bottom of the indices for education and healthcare.)

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