Fertility Transition in the Districts of India, 1991–2011

  • Sanjay K. Mohanty
  • Sayantani Chatterjee
  • Emily Das
  • Suyash Mishra
  • Rajesh K. Chauhan


Fertility transition is of global significance, and in India, it is characterized by large subnational variations. Though a large number of studies have examined the role of proximate and distal determinants of fertility change at the state level, limited number of studies examine the association in the districts of India. The objective of this chapter is to examine the role of proximate and distal determinants on fertility reduction in the districts of India. Data on the estimated total fertility rate (TFR) for 1991, 2001 and 2011 and under-five mortality are taken from published sources, and two of the proximate determinants, namely, the use of modern method of contraception and proportion of girls aged 20–24 years marrying below age 18 are taken from the recently conducted National Family and Health Survey 4, 2015–2016. Two distal determinants, namely, female literacy, wealth index along with caste and religion are taken from the Census of India 2011. Descriptive statistics and ordinary least square regressions are used for the analyses.

Out of the 640 districts in 2011, 207 (32%) districts accounting for 38% of the population had below replacement level of fertility, and 207 (32%) districts accounting for 28% of the population had TFR in the range of 2.1–3, 183 (29%) districts accounting for 28% of the population had TFR were in the range of 3–4, and 43 (7%) districts accounting for 7% of the population had TFR in the range 4+. Results suggest limited convergence of fertility level across the districts of India. The use of modern method of contraception to the extent of 65% may ensure attainment of replacement level of fertility in the districts of India. While there is an emerging optimism towards attainment of the exact replacement level of fertility in most parts, there remain pockets where specific intervention is needed to promote the use of modern methods of contraception and adherence to minimum legal age at marriage for girls. Both the proximate determinants and distal determinants exert significant influence on fertility transition in the districts of India.


Fertility Modern method of contraception District Proximate determinant Distal determinants India 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanjay K. Mohanty
    • 1
  • Sayantani Chatterjee
    • 2
  • Emily Das
    • 3
  • Suyash Mishra
    • 2
  • Rajesh K. Chauhan
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Fertility StudiesInternational Institute for Population SciencesMumbaiIndia
  2. 2.International Institute for Population SciencesMumbaiIndia
  3. 3.Population Services InternationalLucknowIndia
  4. 4.Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Planning DepartmentGovernment of Uttar PradeshLucknowIndia

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