The Fertility Decline in India’s Kerala State: A Unique Example of Below Replacement Fertility in a High Fertility Country

M. V. George


This paper attempts to fill a gap in an updated study of the rapid fertility
decline in Kerala, which has evoked world wide interest, using historical
and recent data from direct and indirect sources. The three determinants
of fertility decline – changes in age at marriage; the use of effective family planning methods as a result of the state’s aggressive family planning program; and the unique Kerala characteristics - have contributed to the fall in fertility. Additional insights are provided by comparing this with similar fertility decline in six countries of the region.

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