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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Pandemic year sees sharp fall in Kerala births

Data show that while Kerala has been witnessing a steady fall in birth numbers, the fall this year has been the steepest – the pre-pandemic year registered 4.80 lakh births, which dropped to 4.53 lakh in 2020, before plunging to 2.17 lakh as of September 30 this year.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: November 23, 2021 10:10:03 am
In 2010, Kerala registered 5.46 lakh live births, which went up to 5.6 lakh in 2011. Since then, the number of births has been on a decline, barring a small jump between 2016 and 2017.

As Kerala battled a raging pandemic — when work from home was the norm and lakhs of expatriates returned to the state — the state witnessed a sharp fall in live births in the first nine months of 2021, according to data from the state’s Chief Registrar of Birth and Deaths.

Data show that while Kerala has been witnessing a steady fall in birth numbers, the fall this year has been the steepest – the pre-pandemic year registered 4.80 lakh births, which dropped to 4.53 lakh in 2020, before plunging to 2.17 lakh as of September 30 this year.

In the first six months of this year, the number of births registered ranged from a low of 27,534 (in February) to a high of 32,969 (June). However, since then, in the months of July, August and September, the births averaged around 10,000, with September seeing 12,227 registered births. Sources said that at this rate, 2021 is set to witness the biggest year-on-year fall in birth figures in Kerala in the last one decade – a drop that will have a far-reaching impact on Kerala’s demography in the coming years.

In 2010, Kerala registered 5.46 lakh live births, which went up to 5.6 lakh in 2011. Since then, the number of births has been on a decline, barring a small jump between 2016 and 2017.

Kerala has been registering 100 per cent registration of births in rural and urban areas, with 98.96 per cent of them being institutional deliveries. In 2019, as many as 87.03 per cent births in Kerala were registered within 21 days of birth.

Data from the Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA) show that 14.63 lakh expats flew in to Kerala, mainly from the Middle East, in 13 months starting May 2020.

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