The Indian government has just released provisional results from the 2011 census. One highly remarkable result is the decline in the number of 0-6 year olds. In 2001, at the last census, there were 163.8 million kids under the age of seven. In 2011 the number is 158.8 million. This indicates the turning of an important corner in India’s demographic development, signifying that long-term stabilisation of the total Indian population is well under way due to declining fertility. (Children of India – 2011 Census)

Of course, a continuing increase in Indian life expectancy may provide for a rise in total population for some decades yet, as well as for an ageing population in parallel to what we see in developed countries.

Expect another, somewhat more troubling result to attract attention: The fact that the proportion of girls in the child population has declined from 927 per 1,000 boys to 914.

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