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India’s population 144 cr, quarter in 0-14 group

India’s population 144 cr, quarter in 0-14 group

Photo for representation. File photo

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 17

India’s population is estimated to have touched 144 crore, with nearly a quarter of them in the 0-14 age bracket, according to a report by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA). The last census conducted in 2011 had recorded the country’s population at 121 crore.

This population is estimated to double in 77 years, said the report which focused on inequalities in sexual and reproductive health. India is followed by China at 142.5 crore.While 24 per cent of India’s population is between 0 and 14 years of age, 17 per cent is within the 10-19 age group. The segment aged 10-24 is estimated to constitute 26 per cent, with the 15-64 age group making up 68 per cent. Additionally, 7 per cent of the population is aged 65 years and above.

Worryingly, the child marriage percentage in India was 23 between 2006-2023. India, however, has been successful in reducing maternal deaths. “India’s success is often attributed to improved access to affordable, quality maternal health services as well as efforts to address the impact of gender discrimination on health outcomes,” noted the report.

However, improvements in healthcare access have primarily benefited wealthier women and those who belong to ethnic groups that already have better access to healthcare. The highest maternal mortality rate is in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tirap district. It found that women with disabilities are up to 10 times more likely to experience gender-based violence than their peers without disabilities. Their vulnerability is accentuated by climate change, humanitarian crises and mass migration. The report said Dalit activists had argued for legal protection for women facing discrimination in workplaces and education.

“Many will otherwise remain too poor to support their families and give their children a dignified life, contributing to a cycle that perpetuates poor sexual and reproductive health,” it said.

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