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Wanted and unwanted fertility in selected states of India

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Publication Date: January 1998

Publisher(s): International Institute for Population Sciences; East-West Center

Author(s): Sumati Kulkarni; Minja Kim Choe

Series: National family health survey subject reports ; no. 6

Topic: Population and demographics (Family planning)

Type: Report

Coverage: India


This report proposes new measures of wanted and unwanted fertility based on actual and wanted parity progression ratios and applies these procedures to NFHS data for eight states in India. In four large states with high fertility, levels of wanted fertility are high, at three or more children per married woman, and the proportion unwanted ranges from 20 to 28 percent of total marital fertility. In three states with moderate fertility, the proportion unwanted ranges from 31 to 34 percent. In Kerala, wanted fertility is already at replacement level, and there is very little unwanted fertility. Multivariate analysis indicates that education, religion, exposure to family planning messages on radio or television, experience of child loss, and son preference are important determinants of contraceptive use among women who want no more children. The NFHS Subject Reports is a series summarizing secondary analysis of data from the 1992-93 National Family Health Survey (NFHS) in India. The NFHS collected information from nearly 90,000 Indian women on a range of demographic and health topics. Conducted under the auspices of the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the survey provides national and state-level estimates of fertility, infant and child mortality, family planning practice, maternal and child health, and the utilization of services available to mothers and children. IIPS conducted the survey in cooperation with consulting organizations and 18 population research centers throughout India. The East-West Center and a U.S.-based consulting firm, Macro International, provided technical assistance, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided financial support.