Leveraging media and strategic engagement to tackle misinformation on population issues

Over the years, demands for coercive measures of population control have intermittently kept coming up in the Indian public discourse. This is despite the fact that India’s made steady progress over the years in trying to stabilize its population, with its Total Fertility Rate coming down from 6.0 in the 1950s to less than the replacement level of 2.1. Demands for China-esque one-child and two-child policies are recurrent despite the fact that China itself has abandoned these policies due to their harmful consequences. Population Foundation of India tracks such developments and actively engages with media and other key stakeholders to ensure that the discourse on population does not veer from a rights-based approach. Population Foundation of India compiles and constantly updates evidence from credible sources to highlight India’s progress on population and fertility indicators. We argue that population has more to do with people than numbers. If we focus on overall socio-economic development—with a special focus on girls’ education, access to health services and quality of care—a decline in fertility rate would be a natural corollary.