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Fertility Decline in India: Contributions by Uneducated Women
Authors: P Arokiasamy
Source: Economic and Political Weekly, 25th July 2009
Topic(s): Education
Country: Asia
Published: JUL 2009
Abstract: India’s fertility transition is driven by major fertility declines among women who are illiterate. Consequently, the earlier emphasis on women’s education and socio-economic conditions as determinants of fertility decline is shifting to research on the study of reciprocally initiated positive contributions of fertility decline to the improvement of the health of women and children. This analysis indicates that illiterate women and their children are the greatest recipients of the benefits of health and socio-economic advancement. The standardised percentages of women without education who received three antenatal care check-ups and whose children received full immunisation are sharply higher for women with two children and less than for those with more than two children. Child mortality reductions for women of lower parities are steeply higher for uneducated women compared with educated women. These cumulative benefits of low fertility, in effect, have speeded up the health improvement and socio-economic advancement of the states.