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Citation Information

Type Journal Article
Title Changes in natural fertility in India 1959-1972
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1981
URL http://www.popline.org/node/401457
This paper examines the nature of changes in natural fertility in 11 major states in India at 2 points in time (1959 and 1972) during the process of modernizaiton and fertility transition. Survey data derived from the rural sample of the 1959 National Sample Survey and from the 1972 Sample Registration Villages were used. Age specific marital fertility schedules at these 2 points in time were evaluated in light of the 2 hypotheses suggested by the demographic literature regarding the effects of modernization on natural fertility: 1) a wide variation in levels of fertility tends to be observed and natural fertility tends to increase among the different populations experiencing modernization; and 2) despite the increase in natural fertility, the age pattern of fertility over time in the short run and over populations tends to remain constant. A substantial increase in the total marital fertility rate in 1972 compared with 1959 was noted in 8 of the 11 states. This increase was essentially due to an increase in natural fertility. However, contrary to the standard age pattern of natural fertility, the observed age patterns of fertility tilted to the right and the age-specific marital fertility rate in the 25-29 year age group rose substantially in some states relative to that at ages 20-24 years. States in which this tilting occurred in 1959 exhibited better socioeconomic conditions and greater cultural propensity for modernization than those states where tilting was noted only in 1972. As modernization proceeds, the destabilization in the age pattern is overcome and natural fertility seems to return to the standard pattern. Modernization is assumed to raise natural fertility levels by improving health and nutrition as well as uprooting cultural and social norms relating to traditional fertility-inhibiting practices such as prolonged lactation and intercourse taboos. At the same time, modernization is accompanied by age-specific increases in deliberate fertility regulation. A longterm decline in fertility requires a levelling off of the increase in natural fertility and an expansion in the process of fertility regulation. - See more at: http://www.popline.org/node/401457#sthash.unP5aVe4.dpuf

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