Changes in the initiation of childbearing during the early phase of the nuptiality transition: an assessment for north-central India

Lopamudra Paul, Jawaharlal Nehru University

There has been concerned about the low age at marriage of women because of its implications for fertility and woman’s health. In India, where there was a tradition of formal marriage followed after sometime by consummation, it is the latter that is important. This paper analyses data from National Family Health Survey, 1998-99 in north central states in India that are characterized by low age at marriage. The results show that the recent changes in age at consummation and first birth in India are caused by both socio-economic changes and purely temporal secular changes. Further, there is gradual increase in age at formal marriage but age at consummation has not change to the same extent and the age at first birth has declined marginally, thus, the rise in age at marriage has not been translated into rise in the age of initiation of childbearing in India.

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Presented in Poster Session 2