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Slowly Rising Hilly Young Population of Himachal: A Step Towards Stabilization

Author(s): Gupta SN*, Ahmed N, Gupta N and Gupta S

Background: Socioeconomic development is the best contraceptive. Himachal Pradesh has made developments in all the fields, especially reducing the size of the family via family planning program. Aim: The objectives of this analysis are to describe the various methods of family planning used from 2003 to 2010 and their impact in averting the births in the state and in stabilizing the population. Materials and Methods: We collected secondary data of the family planning program and the various methods employed from the total population (Census 2011) covered under family planning program (FPP) of the state. We analyzed and compared the results with India. We measured the impact of the program due to FP methods adopted. We employed the standardized program indicators‑ total fertility rate, birth rate, death rate, growth rate and census trend towards population growth; fertility rate (in %), birth rate and death rate (per thousand of the population per year) from 3.8, 31.5 and 11.1 in 1981 to 1.9, 17.2 and 7.2 in 2009. We entered dataset by double data entry technique and analyzed descriptively using Epi info version 3.3.2 and stat calc software. Results: The state has the population of 6,856,509, sex ratio in age 0‑6 years is 906/1000 males. The unmet need for family planning services is 15%. The impact of family planning program has resulted in averting of 3,387,744 of pregnancies from 2003 to 2010. The total fertility rate (TFR) has come down to 1.9 in 2008 from 3.8 children per woman in 1981. The death rate has declined from 11.1 per 1000 live births in 1981 to 7.2 per 1000 live births in 2009. The trend in decadal growth rate of the state is observable as 23.0% in 1971 while in 2011, it is 12.8%; more towards young population and for geriatric one as well but not exploding like India. Conclusion: Total population is on the increase with reference to the population of reproductive age bracket (15‑49 years) and also geriatric population above 60 steadily despite good social and health indicators. Bulging reproductive age group with mild upward shift of the geriatric population is the root cause for increasing population in hills of Himachal Pradesh.

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