India & Birth Control
In 1951 India implemented a national family planning program to help slow their booming population.
Despite India's best efforts, the population continues to grow at a present rate of 1.8 percent.
In the year 2000, India's one billionth baby was born making the country home for one sixth of the entire population of the world. With the current rate of growth, India's one billion people will double to two billion by the year 2040.
Seventy five percent of the total population live in rural regions, which vary greatly in economic, social, and religious lifestyles. This makes a national family planning program difficult to reach the entire population effectively.
As a nation, roughly 50 percent of the population uses some form of birth control.
Of the women who choose voluntarily sterilization, 60 percent wait until they have at least two boys or on average four children .
One major population problem in India is families preferences for boys over girls. Because of India's dowry system, which is now officially outlawed but still takes place, it is expensive to raise girls. Also when a girl marries she becomes part of her husband's family and contributes nothing further to her parents future welfare. One common Indian proverb relates, "raising girls is like watering someone else's lawn.