Thiruvananthapuram: Data from Kerala's Chief Registrar of Births and Deaths shows that there has been a steady decline in live births in the first nine months of 2021. The pre-pandemic year registered 4.80 lakh births. It dropped to 4.53 lakhs in 2020 and 2.17 lakhs in 2021.
In the first six months of 2021, the lowest number of births, 27,534 was registered in February and the highest number, 32,969 was in June. In July, August, and September, the number dropped further and averaged around 10,000. September registered only 12,227 births, reported The Indian Express.
Experts think that Kerala is set to see the year-on-year fall in birth figures in the last decade. This will also have significant consequences in upcoming years.
Kerala has been observing a fall in the birth rate since 2010 despite small jumps. In 2010 and 2011, there were 5.46 lakh and 5.6 lakh live births respectively. Since then there has been a steady decline except in 2017. In 2012, 2013, and 2014, the number of children born was 5.50L, 5.36L, 5.34L, and 5.16L.
In 2016, the number dropped to 4.96L and in 2017, it rose to 5.03, which was still less than the birth rate of 2015 and the years before. According to the date of Chief Registrar of Birth and Death, in the next few years, the number remained below four lakh. Kerala has had a 100% registration of births in rural and urban areas. And 98.96% of them are institutional deliveries.
A similar trend has been observed in several parts of the world. The US recorded the biggest slubs in births in a century. France is facing its lowest birth rate since World War I. China has registered 15% fewer babies. Italy's birth rate has dropped to 22%. Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan are also suffering from a similar trend on top of their low fertility rate that existed before the pandemic hit, reported The Indian Express.