Childlessness in time, space and social groups and its linkage with fertility in India

Usha Ram, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

Involuntary childlessness/infertility has been looked upon with disdain in most societies across globe. Evidently childlessness has various socio-economic and health implications. Despite evidences, there have been no efforts to take remedial measures within primary health care framework. India has high levels of childlessness that varies greatly across states and social groups. Analysis clearly shows strong clustering of childlessness with respect to space and social groups. There are strong evidences suggesting lower fertility for a given contraceptive level across area or social groups experiencing higher childlessness. Analysis of 2001 census data for India also indicates emerging traces of voluntary childlessness. The present work also suggests a simple methodology to decompose childlessness into voluntary and involuntary. Higher childlessness in certain regions and social groups may be the outcome of poor health conditions including nutrition and primitive life styles affecting biology of reproduction.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 72: Reproductive health and infertility