A viral claim stating that 58,167 Muslim children are born daily pan-India at government hospitals, which outnumbers the children born of other religions, is false.
The claims state that pan-India, 58,167 Muslims children are born daily at government hospital, vastly outnumbering Hindu newborns (at 3,337), Christians (1,222) and Sikhs (1117). The claim also states that in Delhi, 167 Muslims are born in government hospitals, outstripping the number of Hindus (37), Christians (12) and Sikhs (17).
The claims is false since according to the Civil Registration System (CRS) of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs - which maintains data on birth and death registration pan-India, such such data is not available religion-wise. The Government of Delhi maintains such data too, and a religious breakup is available. However, this data show that births of Hindu children exceed those of Muslims.
The viral claim can be seen below.
Previously, the Delhi section of this claim has gone viral as hospital births in Kerala.
Publicly available data from the union government and the Government of Delhi shows that these numbers are false.
1. CRS, Union Ministry of Home Affairs
The latest CRS was released by the Registrar General of India - which is under the Ministry of Home Affairs in June 2021, and it pertains to the year 2019.
According to these numbers, there were 2,48,20,886 (2.48 crore) births in India in 2019.
The following breakdowns of the data are available:
- Gender, where 52.1% where male and 47.9% female
- Medical attention, where 81.2% births were given some form of institutional attention, 4.5% by untrained midwives, 8.4% by physicians, nurses or midwives, 3.2% "others" and 2.7% is not stated
- The level of registrations, where 92.7% births are registered in 2019 compared to the estimated number of births for that year
- District-level data on the number of births and still-births registered, broken down by gender
- The time gap in registrations of births (in days)
- The sex ratio at birth
- Urban - rural breakdown of births, where 54.2% births were urban and 45.8% rural
No data is available on the births across India on religious lines in this table.
The data can be found here.
2. Government Of Delhi
The Government of Delhi's Directorate of Economics and Statistics and the Office of Chief Registrar (Births and Deaths) maintains similar data at the state level. The latest release of this data pertains to 2020, which was released in October 2021.
In 2020, Delhi's CRS saw a total of 3,01,645 births registered, averaging 824 births per day.
Of these births, 2,49,262 (or nearly 82.6%) births were Hindu while 46,513 (or 15.4%) were Muslim. 1262 were Sikh, 3048 were Christian and the remaining 1,560 were of other religions.
Further, this data also gives a drilldown into the institutional births witnessed in the union territory, which is further broken by gender. This breakdown says if the institutional birth took place in a government institution, in a private institution or if the birth was not institutional. A total of 1,77,162 births were in a government institution - averaging 484 births daily - though the data does not give a breakdown of these births by religion.
Like the data given above, the Delhi government also provides drilldowns into the gender, the rural-urban difference, the registration time, the sex ratio at birth. The age of mother, her education and occupation at the time of birth has also been provided, along with the level of education and occupation of the father. Data on stillbirths and the weight of the newborn is given too.
Other than the overall religious breakup on total births, the only other piece of information that is broken down on religious lines is the age of mother at the time of giving mother, the birth order of the children and whether it took place in an urban or rural setting. For example, 2,25,682 children were born in a Hindu family, which is classified as 'urban'. Here's how the data looks.
There is no religious breakdown on the institutional status of the birth as the claim states.
This data can be found here.
A narrative for a population control bill
Such claims are often made on the premise that the population growth of Muslims in India will one day exceed that of Hindus, which is often peddled as a grand premeditated conspiracy to homogenise the country under one religion.
To prevent this, supporters of such a narrative often call on the government to introduce a population control law. However, the government publicly maintains that a population control bill or a two-child policy is not on the cards. In July last year, as it has done many times before, the government told Parliament in written reply that such coercive measures are counterproductive and states like West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu had managed to keep their populations in check without resorting to them.
It has also told Parliament in March last year that 28 of India's 36 states and union territories had manged to get their fertility rates below replacement of 2.1. This is the rate at which one generation is exactly replaced by the next.
Recent evidence also suggests that India's population breakdown has remained largely constant since 1951. As per research released in September 2021 by Pew, Muslims have the highest fertility rate of 2.6 compared to 2.1 of Hindus, but saw the largest fall since the 1990s where it was 4.1.
The fertility rate in India continues to decline across all religions, and that of Muslims and Hindus is gradually converging.
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