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Childlessness and its consequences in India: levels, patterns and differentials

Usha Ram, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

We use data from Indian Census of 1981, 1991, 2001 to examine the levels, patterns and differentials in childlessness in India. The study further examines the factors affecting childlessness and its consequences using Indian National Family Health Survey 1998-99. General Marital Childlessness Rate (GMCR) and Age Specific Marital Childlessness Rate (ASMCR) are used to describe the levels, patterns and differentials in childlessness in India. Logistic regression models are used to understand the factors affecting childlessness and its consequences in India. GIS Package is used to plot the patterns in childlessness on the map of India. The findings suggest that the levels of childlessness are moderate in India. The childlessness is higher in the southern states of India compared to the northern states. Differentials are observed by socio-economic characteristics of women. Women who remain childless face adverse consequences in the form of divorce/desertion and discrimination.

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Presented in Session 39: Childlessness in developed countries