Articles by A J Francis ZavierSubscribe to A J Francis Zavier

Factors Influencing the Use of Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques and the Sex Ratio at Birth in India

Data from the 2001 Census reveal that the sex ratio at birth may have increased by 6 percentage points in India since 1985, and in some parts by 20 percentage points. Data from the National Family Health Survey of 1998-99 show that while the use of prenatal diagnostic techniques has become fairly common only a minority misuses them for aborting female foetuses. The effect of PNDT use on the sex ratio at birth is found to be contingent on whether women are in the male-selection situation (i e, with at least one previous birth but have had no sons) or not. While income and education are found to increase the use of PNDT, their misuse is governed more by cultural factors and the sex composition of children already born.

Role of Religion in Fertility Decline

The fertility of Muslims, which was about 10 per cent higher than that of Hindus before independence, is now 25 to 30 per cent higher than the Hindu rate, and the difference according to religion is larger than the difference between the forward and depressed Hindu castes and tribes. This paper subjects the micro data from the National Family Health Surveys to a multivariate analysis to assess the contribution of socio-economic factors to the fertility differential by religion. It also explores the possible reasons for the large, residual effect of religion on fertility, and causes for the religious disparities in socio-economic conditions. The paper concludes with an assessment of the implications of the current demographic trends for the future population sizes of the two religious groups.
Back to Top