Bihar’s high population growth rate is a matter of concern and if it continues in this pace, it will double by 2051 and affect the economic growth, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said.

“If the (high) population growth rate continues in the years to come, our population will double by 2051 and put insurmountable pressure on infrastructure, resources and land, in particular, that cannot be stretched to accommodate the growing number of people,” Kumar said at a paediatricians’ conference here today.

“We will be hard pressed to deal with food and nutrition security of the people if the population growth rate does not stabilise,” he said.

“The 25.05 per cent decadal population growth in Bihar is a serious matter of concern as the impact of economic growth rate is not positively reflected on the people, particular on human development indices like per capita income,” he said.

Fertility rate

Stating that the population growth rate was directly linked to high fertility rate of women (3.7 per cent), he called for an awareness campaign and touched on government measures in this direction.

Taking a cue from the council on population which stated that lack of education for women and girls was the main cause for high population growth rate, Kumar said his Government has decided to set up one high school in each gram panchayat for secondary education of the children.

Kumar said his government has successfully contained polio through vaccination over the past few years, a feat which has been lauded by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and even in Pakistan.