In India, there was a time when people used to raise a lot of kids.
But, in the last decade, there has been a subtle rise in the thinking of raising one child per family.
According to Hindustan Times, a 2011 study by National Council for Applied Economic Research(NCAER) stated that close to 10% of Indian households now opt for only one child.
This phenomenon is prominent in Urban India, which is about 8% more than rural regions.
So, what are the reasons that Indian families nowadays are opting for a single child?
Let’s find out!
A decade ago, single-child families started getting famous in the U.S. Soon, this trend came into force in India, too.
According to researchers, there can be three reasons for this:
1-Aspirations for Social Mobility to have better facilities:
In simple words, Parents want to raise their children in the best way possible. Indian parents are apprehensive about their child’s future. Therefore, they tend to concentrate on one child more.
And it is proven, the single child gets the undivided attention and financial resource for better education.
This trend is already famous in northeastern countries like China.
There, the government policies focussed more on child’s quality rather than quantity. Their motive is to bring out the best in every child possible.
Not only educationally but financially too, this practice also relieves the burden off from the parents. Having one child increases the probability that the child studies in a private school.
2-Heavy Investments for children:
According to various statistics and reports, on average, “A parent invests more than 50-55 Lakhs on their child from their birth till they get employed or financially independent which is in between 21-24 years.”
In this scenario, having a second child doubles up the investments!
After covid, the number of jobless people has significantly increased whereas the job opportunities aren’t!
3-Resources to spend money on:
Back in the time, parents used to do the basic 9 to 5 jobs, and back home, no entertainment, no trips/journeys, not indulging in new activities. But, these days parents also try to save money for themselves, for their leisure time.
It directly implies that in such a situation, having thought of a second child is difficult.
The above reasons primarily go for the urban parts of India and not the rural ones. Though rural areas have also seen a decline in fertility rates, that is all due to different reasons.
The reason is the strict imposures of the government’s family planning programs.
Though having a single-child family can have negative impacts on the economy.
The fear is that “The population may grow old before it grows rich.”
This change was observant in China, where the one-child policy was in action till 2016.
What are the problems a country may face if it has an old population more?
Health care costs increase tenfolds. A lot of money is invested in building infrastructure for medical emergencies.
Lack of a young workforce. If the population younger would be less than older ones, the country may fall short of youth and youth participation.
Therefore, having one, two, or more than two children is not just a matter of family but becomes a matter for the state and the country in the long run.
Apprehensions of Indian Parents:
A parent not only has to look after his child but also his aging parents. It brings out the feeling of denial to have more children.
But on a larger spectrum also brings out the fear of the population getting old, which proves the idea of demographic dividend false.
Therefore, the government is trying to impose two-child planning policies.
India should look forward and try to tackle these problems.
Families can think of more than one child only when:
★ The education becomes less expensive, which can only be possible by making more schools and colleges. Providing better educational qualities and good infrastructure.
★ Providing employment and secured working environments.
★ More participation of corporate and private companies to provide more flexible and secure working conditions.