Some of the most essential causes of high birth rate in India are as follows:
1. Early and Universal Marriage:
In India, marriage is a social compulsion. It is not only universal but takes place at an early age. About 80 percent girls are married during the most fertile period of 15 to 20 yrs. of age.
But in developed countries like U.K., the percentage of unmarried girls aged 30 and aged 41 in USA is quite high.
2. Preference for Male Child:
Male child is a religious necessity among the Hindus. Son is eligible to perform certain religious rites e.g. last rites. Daughters can not perform these rites. So a couple without son is looked down upon in the society. So people take chances to be blessed with son. This increases birth rate.
3. Joint Family System:
India is mainly an agricultural country. The social structure is dominated by the joint family system. An additional child born causes no immediate hardships to the parents. This factor is also responsible for high birth rate.
4. Climatic Factor:
India is a tropical country, where girls attain puberty at an early age. They achieve motherhood in the age group of 12-15 yrs. Hence a woman in India delivers 6 to 7 children on an average. Where as a woman in Japan delivers 5 and in America 3 children.
Another factor to the rising birth rate is poverty of the people. Poor people have to spend little on the upbringing of their children. Besides, the children supplement the family income by engaging themselves in some odd jobs at an early age.
6. High Infant Mortality:
Infant mortality rate is very high in India due to hunger, malnutrition and poor living conditions. So the fear of early death of their infants encourages the parents to have more children.
7. Inadequate Supply of Family Welfare Services:
There is inadequate supply of family welfare services e.g. contraceptives. Poverty and ignorance deter people from using contraceptives to practise small family norms. It adds to high birth rate.
8. Inadequate Recreational Facilities:
Due to poverty, people have very little entertainment facilities. Sex is the only entertainment with most of the people. So birth rate increases.
9. Effect of Religion:
In India, religion plays a major role in large size families. A son is must to provide continuity to family legacy. Even after so many girls in the family, the desire for one son prompts parents to continue with their child producing activity.
10. Agricultural Occupation:
India is an agricultural country. Even children get some sort of work in agriculture. Thus they do not prove to be burden on the family. So rural population in India has the tendency to have large families.