Demographic predicament of Parsis in India
Sayeed Unisa, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Ram B. Bhagat, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Tarun Kumar Roy, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
The Parsi community in India is perhaps the only community outside Europe to have experienced dramatic population and fertility decline. This indicates that a country that is experiencing high population growth can also have communities that have different kinds of demographic patterns. Parsis are a small but prosperous religious community that maintained some sort of social isolation by practising endogamy and not accepting any new converts to their faith. Their population started declining since 1941 and the explanations that are put forth pertain to the issues of under-enumeration, fertility decline and emigration. In this paper, the relative importance of these factors in the light of 2001 Census is examined. This study demonstrates that the unprecedented fall in fertility among Parsis is the prime contributor to its declining population size. Also in this paper, the population of Parsis is projected up to the year 2051.