ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Population Numbers

ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY Population Numbers The careless manner in which the census office released the 2001 population tables by religion has given new fodder to groups that abuse demography to fan the fires of communalism. History is replete with examples of population alarms. A crucial determinant of population growth is the fertility rate, the average number of children a woman has during her reproductive span. When fertility began to fall in France during the early 19th century, it caused much fear of shrinkage in the French population and led to pro-natalist rhetoric. However, by the late 19th century, fertility began to decline all over Europe, and this continued well into the 20th century. By the early 1960s it had dipped to low levels of two children or less among

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