India Pays to Hold Off on Kids

Cold hard cash may be the most powerful incentive yet for couples in India to wait before procreating. With a population of 1.2 billion people—half of which are under the age of 25—the country is desperate to slow down its population growth and some districts are offering a reward to those couples helping the cause. In places like rural Satara, local health officials go door-to-door hawking a “honeymoon package” of cash bonuses (roughly $106) and encouraging the use of contraceptives. “This is how population stabilization will come,” said one administrator. It is certainly a more palatable, and popular, approach than India’s experiment in the 1970s when the government caused an uproar with forced vasectomies or China’s take on population control.