Sri Lanka’s rising fertility rate has serious implications, say experts

Apr 19, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s rising fertility rate has serious implications for the island that are not being adequately discussed, experts say.

Sri Lanka is the only country in the region with a rising Total Fertility Rate (TFR), a measure that captures the average number of children per woman, according to a report.

The Census on Population and Housing report of 2012, stated that as of 1998, Sri Lanka’s TFR was 1.9, making it the only country in the South Asian region to “achieve the level of replacement fertility before the end of last century, and ahead of the targeted time frame.”

Since 1998, Sri Lanka’s fertility rate has been on the rise, reaching 2.3 in 2005 and 2.4 in 2011.

According to Professor Indralal De Silva of the Department of Demography, University of Colombo, a rising TFR has implications including a rise in population size that puts greater pressure on land, water, the environment and natural resources.

This also leads to a greater burden on tax payers, due to more dependents in the population, and lower female labour participation rate.

Professor De Silva said there has been no serious discussion of implications on the part of the Government, reported.

The report can be read here