From: Anjaneya Bajaj <
Fertility Tables published by Census 2011 indicate that the annual number of births in Kashmir Valley has doubled since Census 2001. There were 85,157 live births in the Valley in the year preceding Census 2001, that number has risen to 1,76,673 in 2011. This abrupt rise is restricted only to births in the Valley. In Jammu region, number of births has increased by only 19.3 percent, which is somewhat less than the rise in population of that region. In Ladakh, number of births has declined by nearly a third.
Of the children born in the valley 99.13 percent are Muslim. The spurt in live births in Jammu and Kashmir is thus limited to the Muslims in the Valley. The rise is such that an average Muslim woman in the Valley can now expect to produce 1.34 extra children over her lifetime compared to what she could have expected in 2001. Such a drastic change in the fertility rates over a period of just one decade is indeed surprising.
Census provides one more measure of fertility: number of children in the 0-6 year age group per hundred of the population of different communities. This measure also confirms the sudden rise of fertility in the Muslim community of the Valley. Census 2001 counted 14.64 children per hundred of population among them, the ratio in 2011 is 17.83. Thus, compared to 2001, there are 3.2 more children per hundred of the population among Muslims there.
There has obviously been a great spurt in the fertility of Muslims in the Valley. Such a drastic rise in the fertility measures is unlikely to happen spontaneously. The numbers do indicate a systematic, concerted and successful effort among the Muslims of the Valley to have more children. Surprisingly, no indications of such an effort have emerged in the public domain.
In view of the great significance of these numbers, we have collated the relevant data in the note below:
With warm regards,
Dr. J. K. Bajaj
Centre for Policy Studies
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