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District-Level Estimates of Fertility and Implied Sex Ratio at Birth in India

With an emphasis on decentralised planning in India, the district has become the primary unit of planning and monitoring development programmes. The Census of India is the only source providing useful demographic information at the district and administrative levels below it. The findings of this study indicate that India is undergoing a fertility transition, yet around one-third of districts have a birth rate of 25 or more. High fertility districts have shown a faster pace of decline. Furthermore, around a quarter of the districts are characterised by a very low implied sex ratio at birth, of less than 900. Spatial analysis reveals a contiguous pattern of low ratios in the north-western part of the country and emerging pockets in Maharashtra and Gujarat followed by Orissa.

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