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Gap between desired and actual family size in the context of fertility decline in India: a cohort analysis of longitudinal data

Avishek Hazra, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Puspita Datta, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

This study gives an imperative insight about how and why in reality women are irrational about their family size, although they have a desired number in their mind. Using three rounds of NFHS dataset in India and through a cohort analysis, the paper examines gap between desired and actual family size; observes change in gap over the last 15 years; and identifies determining factors responsible for having more than average CEB. Women’s actual performance is much more than their desire which point towards unintended pregnancies, non-use or unmet need for family planning etc. Average of actual family size has declined 8.4 percent during 1992-2006, while average of desired family size has declined 16.6 percent. Couple’s educational level, residence, mass-media exposure, discussion of contraception with husbands show significant effect of having more than average CEB among women aged below 40, while sex of dead children becomes significant for women aged 40-49.

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Presented in Session 193: The gap between desired and achieved fertility