Population Growth – India Pays in Cash for Using Contraceptives

India’s rapidly growing population (it will soon overtake China as the most populated country on earth) is a huge challenge for its natural resources, its already seriously strained infrastructure and for its social stability. Therefore it is good news that growth rates, not to be confused with absolute growth, are coming down: Today, an average Indian woman gives birth to 2.6 children. As is explained in this article, investing in education of girls is decisive in the quest of controlling birth rates. The more years of schooling women enjoy, the later they get married and the more able they are to insist on using contraceptives. Education is the prerequisite but one of the concrete motivators seems to be the so called “honeymoon package”, a mix of making contraceptive available and a considerable amount of cash for those who manage to wait two years before having their first child.

Brightnews! Whatever you think of paying people for not having babies, there are few things that motivate people as much as money. Interestingly this hardly new psychological insight triggers a quiet innovative and above all successful approach in family planning. And one that is certainly much more appealing that the authoritarian one-child-policy in China.By doing it, India has the chance to make the most of the one time demographic dividend. For the next couple of decades many young, laborious and ever better educated people are available to build up the country without the need to care about many elderly people (as previous generations are much smaller) or about many kids (as future generations will be comparatively smaller too).

Source: New York Times

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