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Data on Birth Registrations in a year is not provided religion-wise

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A post claiming that the Muslim fertility rate in India is extremely high compared to Hindus & other religions is being shared on social media platforms. The post states that of around 65,000 births that take place every day, 40,000 are Muslims while the rest are Hindus and other religions. Through this article, let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.

The archived version of this post can be found here

Claim: Muslim population in India is 20% and out of 65000 children born every day, 40000 are Muslims.

Fact: The Civil Registration System under the Office of Registrar General, India records the total number of birth registrations in a year. However, these reports do not provide religion-wise registration data. Also, as per the 2011 Census, the share of Muslim population in India is 14.2%. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.

The government of India does not record the birth rate but records the total fertility rate (TFR), defined as the number of children born to a woman until the end of her child-bearing age. Ministry of Health & Family welfare conducts a periodic National Family Health Survey (NFHS) in which it records data related to the total fertility rate. The Census India records various compositions related to fertility.

As per the NFHS-4 data released in 2015-16, Muslims had the highest TFR of 2.62 followed by Hindus with 2.13 whereas the TFR of other major religions was less than 2.

On the other hand, registration of births is mandatory under the Civil Registration System (CRS) of India. The Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969 (RBD Act) makes the registration of birth, death, and stillbirth compulsory across the country. Civil Registration System (CRS) section under the Office of Registrar General, India enumerates vital statistics related to births and deaths every year. These statistics include data related to birth registrations in a year. However, the government does not provide this data religion-wise but provides only gender-wise data. With this, we can infer that the religious breakup of the numbers related to the births mentioned in the post are most likely fictious rather than any officially recorded data.

Further, according to the CRS-2018 annual report, a total of 2,32,69,383 births were registered in the year 2018, which roughly averages to 63,758 births per day. Most probably, the data about daily births mentioned in the post might have been collected from this report.

In India, population enumeration is carried out once every ten years. The last census was carried out in the year 2011 and the next census is due this year (2021). As of now, the 2011 Census data is the only available official information as far as the population by religion is concerned. The share of the Muslim population as per 2011 Census is 14.2% which is slightly more than their share in 2001, when it was 13.4%. With this, we can conclude that the Muslim population in India is not 20% or 25% as claimed in the post as far as officially available information is concerned.

To sum it up, the religion-wise registration of births data in a year is not provided by the government.

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