Dynamics of Family Building Process in the Context of Fertility Decline: A Study on a Poor State of India

Harihar Sahoo, Jawaharlal Nehru University

The anomaly of fertility decline in Orissa, one of the extremely backward states of India, with high infant mortality, extreme poverty, low female literacy and very low level of industrialization and urbanization, calls for an in-depth understanding of fertility transition, in particular of the dynamics of family building process in the state. An analysis of Period Parity Progression Ratios computed from fertility histories obtained in the NFHS III gives strong evidence of rapid transition toward two child families in Orissa. The Life Table analysis of spacing between births clearly suggests that median birth intervals have got longer after second birth. It is also found from proportional hazards model that, socio-economic differences show a large effect only at higher order births. Thus, this transition at low levels of socio-economic development questions the classical demand theories, which thought fertility reduction is possible only with considerable improvements either in economic or social conditions.

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Presented in Poster Session 5