Time Varying and Unvarying Factors Affecting Ideal and Actual Family Size in North India

Preeti Dhillon, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

In north India, where fertility transition is yet to begin, it is remarkable to observe that gap between the actual and the stated ideal family size is in the upward direction, actual size being higher than stated ideal. In Bihar and Jharkhand the two most socio-economically backward states of India 64 percent of currently married women are not stable on their stated ideal family size as evident from NFHS-2 (1998-99) and follow-up survey (2002-03). It can be observed that ideal family size is converging predominantly to three children. There is a strong effect of socio-economic-demographic and service-level factors on IFS. Unwanted childbearing defined by gap between actual and ideal family size has increased during inter-survey period. This trend results from IFS falling faster than the rise in contraceptive use. Key Words: Ideal family size (IFS), actual family size, childbearing intention, unwanted childbearing, panel regression, multilevel analysis

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Presented in Poster Session 1