Fertility rate has declined to two children per woman in Karnataka in the past five years resulting in faster negative growth in the child and the young population in the State, according to an expert.

The State has recorded rapid changes in demographic features in the last 10 years, said K.S. James, Head of Population Research Centre, Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore, in a statement here.

“Fertility rate has reached replacement level of two children per woman in Karnataka, while all India it is around ‘2.6' children per woman. Karnataka will have faster negative growth in the child and the young population in the future,” he said.

The State continues to have significant demographic divide. The southern part of the State has reached very low fertility rate while the northern part is nearing towards replacement level fertility.

Of the 30 districts, 21 districts have achieved a fertility level of two children or less and a few others are close to this level based on the estimates done using 2011 census data.

Interestingly, the low fertility districts in the south are reaching unexpectedly low fertility, he said.

The State is attracting both unskilled and skilled migrants from other parts of the country.

Even within the State, there is migration from north to south to fill scarcity of unskilled workers. Such dualism also has implications on the policies of the Government, he said.