Birthrates in India have been falling consistently for 60 years. But even if they were to stop falling magically right now and hit a plateau, India’s population would be shrinking 60 years from now.

Women in India are now averaging 2.0 births over the course of their lifetime, according to a crucial number called the Total Fertility Rate. The “replacement rate,” the TFR at which a population will hold steady, is 2.1 babies per woman. So India has below-replacement fertility.

The new TFR is for 2019 and 2020 and is down from 2.2 babies back in 2015-2016.

India’s population isn’t shrinking yet because demographics are a little bit complicated. Lifespans are getting longer, so births still outnumber deaths. The raw number of babies born could also climb at a sub-replacement fertility rate because of an increase in the number of women of childbearing age. But if India stayed at 2.0 babies per woman indefinitely, then pretty soon, the number of women of childbearing age would begin shrinking, and so the raw number of babies born would start shrinking. Then, the population would start shrinking, and it would keep shrinking unless that rate increased.

However, it is far more likely that India's fertility rate will keep falling further below replacement in the long run. Why? Because that’s what’s happening all over the world. As countries get wealthier, such factors as contraception, later marriages, people choosing childless lives, and married couples choosing smaller families become more common. As a result, TFR continues plunging well below 2.0 babies per woman.

Currently, about half the countries in the world are below replacement rate. This includes secular nations (Western Europe), atheistic nations (China), Islamic nations (Indonesia, Iran, Saudi Arabia), Catholic nations (Brazil, Mexico), and Protestant nations (the United States).

India deserves special attention because it is usually Exhibit A in the argument that the world is overpopulated.

“Philanthropic” efforts and the United Nations have probably focused more money on this effort — preventing babies in India, Southeast Asia, and Africa — than anything else. While most poor countries still have TFRs above 2.1, basically every country in the world is seeing that number go down every year.

Now that India is on a path to a shrinking population, will the population controllers have to find a new bogeyman?

One nuance cutting in the opposite direction in India: The two most populous states, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, are significantly above replacement rate. As they increase their share of the Indian population (they currently have 18% of India’s population between them), you could see upward pressure on the TFR, pushing it back toward 2.1 and possibly back above.

That said, these states’ fertility rates are already dropping, and there’s no reason to believe they will still be above replacement level a decade from now. India, long used by population bomb alarmists to scare Americans, is starting to look like the U.S. and Western Europe.