Journal Press India®

The Determinants of Household Level Fertility in India

Vol 1, Issue 1, January - June 2014 | Pages: 1-16 | Research Paper  

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Author Details ( * ) denotes Corresponding author

1. * Raghbendra Jha, Executive Director, ASARC, Australian National University, Australia (

Using NSS data for 1993-94 and 2004-05 this paper highlights the impact of growing incomes, social and household decisions of households, and regional and ethnic factors on patterns of household level fertility in India. These have helped determine the composition of India’s young (aged 9 to 34) today. Demographic transition is well underway in India with rising incomes associated with fewer children and smaller family size.   Households with more women in the age group 26-35 have more children, are more likely to have children than not having them as well as having larger family size. Average education of females lowers household size whereas (instrumented) shares of expenditure on education and health have varying effects.  Muslim households have more children and are more likely to have larger family sizes.  Households in BIMARU states have more children as do urban households.  Thus demographic transition has occurred unevenly across various groups in India.


Gender bias, Census, National Sample Survey, Demographic transition, India

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