Family Demography in Asia
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Family Demography in Asia

A Comparative Analysis of Fertility Preferences

Edited by Stuart Gietel-Basten, John Casterline and Minja K. Choe

The demographic future of Asia is a global issue. As the biggest driver of population growth, an understanding of patterns and trends in fertility throughout Asia is critical to understand our shared demographic future. This is the first book to comprehensively and systematically analyse fertility across the continent through the perspective of individuals themselves rather than as a consequence of top-down government policies.
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Chapter 8: Fertility preferences in India

Chander Shekhar, Siddhardha Devarapalli, Mohan Singh, Sudhaveni Naresh and Jitendra Gouda


In India, fertility decline has been underway since the late 1960s and has nearly approached the replacement level (ORGI, 2015). This chapter discusses how these prevailing transitions in childbearing and sex-preference, marriage patterns would affect fertility preferences. Investments in women’s education and the family planning programme in India have helped in reducing parity progress ratios. The NFHS (2015–16) reveals that wanted fertility is now far below the replacement and documents further decline in proportion of couples wanting more sons than daughters. Nevertheless, some of the potential determinants of fertility in future include: improved rights based family planning services, a stigma free environment for abortion seekers without violating the PCPNDT Act (1994), dealing with infertility, large subnational fertility differentials, changes in gender roles, and stability in marriages. These could be critical in shaping India’s future fertility behaviour and preferences in particular and population dynamics in general.

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