Fertility decline and child mortality in India during the 1990s: how far demographic transition explains achievement in MDGs?
Sumit Mazumdar, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Laxmi Kant Dwivedi, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
This paper examines the extent of influence demographic transition in terms of fertility decline can have on child mortality by decomposing the decline in child mortality during the 1990s based on 1st and 3rd wave of the Indian National Family Health Survey. Life tables at different levels of observed fertility parameters and hazard models were employed to examine clustering of U5MR across different fertility levels, with appropriate controls. Oaxaca decomposition technique was used to delineate relative effects of fertility parameters explaining decline in child mortality. The results justify that fertility decline mainly through longer birth intervals, explains considerably the decline in child mortality levels. Child survival prospects were found significantly lower among the high-fertility sub-groups of the population in India. The paper opines that attainment of MDG for child mortality is achievable for India, with accelerating fertility decline and encompassing developments in socio-economic and service delivery components as well.