Assertion that more Muslim babies are born in Kerala and throughout India each day is untrue and misleading.

Claim

The record of childbirth in a day in a government hospital in Kerala is: Hindu (37), Christian (12), Sikh (17), Muslim (167). All India highest record of child birth in a day: Hindu (3,337), Christian (1,222), Sikh (1,117), Muslim (58,167).

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Explanation

We received the above piece of forwarded news on our Whatsapp tipline from our readers to verify its authenticity. The claim states that 167 Muslim children are born daily in government hospitals in Kerala, compared to the other religions. The post also includes that the Muslim birth rate numbers are very high compared to the whole country in a single day.

The claim also adds, “To implement Talibani Sharia law and make India a Muslim state, the action is going on at full speed.” While analyzing the forward message we also got similar claims dated back to 2022 can be seen here, here, and here.

What’s the truth?

Fact-Check 1

Claim – “The record of childbirth in a day in a government hospital in Kerala is: Hindu (37), Christian (12), Sikh (17), Muslim (167).”

We analyzed the Kerala government’s Annual Vital Statistics Report 2021 (the latest available), published by the Department of Economics and Statistics. The Kerala government released the most recent version of this data in May 2023, and it pertains to 2021.

Although the Kerala government maintains aggregate statistics on births by faith, there is a lack of information regarding the religious distribution of newborns in establishments like public and private hospitals.

The only other information broken down along religious lines, aside from the general breakdown of births by religion, is the age of the mother at the time of delivery, the order in which the children were born, and the place of birth occurrence either in an urban or rural context. Kerala registered 4,19,767 births in 2021. This indicates that 1,150 births were registered in the state every day. Both the rural and urban populations are represented in these numbers.

Out of all of these, the greatest number of births were to Hindu families (1,81,396 or 43.2% of all births). Following this, among other religions, were Muslims (1,69,296) who accounted for 40.3% of births, and Christians (14.2%).

Additionally, the government offers information on births that take place in Kerala’s institutional hospitals, both public and private. In 2021, there were more than 4.14 lakh births in Kerala hospitals. Of these, 68% of the births took place in private or non-government hospitals, while 32.1% took place in government hospitals.

However, there is no religion-wise breakdown of the institutional status of births.

Fact-Check 2:

Claim – “All India highest record of child birth in a day: Hindu (3,337), Christian (1,222), Sikh (1,117), Muslim (58,167).”

This claim is completely false and untrue as the Union government doesn’t provide any such data based on births by religion.

The fertility rate of all religious groups in India has declined. According to the reports from Pew Research Centre, the fertility rate among Hindu women has decreased from 3.3 children per woman in 1992–1993 to 1.94. The number of children per Muslim woman has decreased from 4.4 in 1992–1993 to 2.3 in 2019–21. According to this data, since 1992–1993, Muslim fertility rates have decreased by 46.5%, while Hindu fertility rates have decreased by 41.2%.

According to the report, “India’s Muslim population has grown somewhat faster than other religious groups because of fertility differences. But due in part to declining and converging fertility patterns, there have been only modest changes in the overall religious makeup of the population since 1951, when India conducted its first census as an independent nation.

Hindus made up 79.8% of India’s 1.2 billion (120 crore) total inhabitants in the most recent census, conducted in 2011. That is 0.7 percentage points less than in the previous census in 2001, and 4.3 points below the 84.1% recorded in 1951. Meanwhile, the share of Muslims grew from 13.4% in 2001 to 14.2% in 2011 – up by a total of 4.4 percentage points since 1951, when the census found that Muslims comprised 9.8% of India’s population. Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains, who together make up nearly all of the remaining 6% of the population, were relatively stable in their shares since the 1951 census

Religion is only one of many factors tied to fertility rates. While this report describes differences in the fertility patterns of major religious groups in India, it cannot measure the full impact of historical and cultural factors on these patterns, nor can it quantify the direct role that religion plays when it comes to fertility and family size.

In short, people’s religion alone does not determine how many children they will have. Religion is just part of a complicated picture.

Conclusion:

Among the various religious groups in the nation, Muslims have the highest fertility rate in the country. However, according to the recent National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), the fertility rate of the Muslim community has seen the most significant decrease compared to other religious communities.

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